The “River Giant” in action on the St. Lawrence River

28 September 2021

The first span of the original Champlain Bridge over the river, was successfully taken down in early July. About ten spans have been removed so far. This mega catamaran barge that was custom-built by a multitude of Quebec, American and European engineering firms has three main functions:

  • With an accuracy of within 2 mm, it lifts the span with six lifting towers that can rise as tall as a nine-storey building and can support up to 4,800 tonnes.
  • It moves the span to the middle of the river, aided by a pull barge and three tugs.
  • It supports the two excavators that deconstruct the span away from residents to reduce nuisances.

Deconstruction cycle

Once the span is deconstructed, the leftover debris is placed on two barges and transported to the quay berth at the end of the Île des Sœurs jetty to be removed by truck to companies that specialize in recycling different types of materials.
The seven-day deconstruction cycle will continue two to three times a month until all 30 spans in the seaway sector of the original Champlain Bridge have been taken down. The work will continue until summer 2022 without a winter break.