Mild winter helps speed up work on Champlain Bridge replacement
Published Friday, March 18, 2016 6:38PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, March 19, 2016 1:00PM EDT
The construction of the new Champlain Bridge is gaining momentum.
Anyone taking the bridge these days may have noticed the cranes and groups of workers on the site working around the clock. There are 400 people total working on building the new span.
In order to work on the structure, the consortium had to build three platforms in the water. The most visible one is on the Montreal side, clearly visible when you drive from the South Shore. The platforms are used for the pre-fabrication of the concrete footings that will be used as the foundations for the bridge.
Those production lines are covered by huge domes, which allow workers to work even in bad weather. An industrial catamaran will them move them into position.
Then you have the two main pylons, on which the cables will be attached. Their construction is well underway, and the concrete will be poured later this spring. It’s a delicate job, as Frederic Guitard, one of the construction directors, explained.
“The grand scheme right now is to be at the level of the deck with the lower leg of the pylon this summer. We plan on erecting the lower crossbeam, which is basically the section of the deck which is on the pylons, within the summer and our aggressive target is to have the back span structural steel up either by the end of the year, which would be great. Our current plan is the spring 2017,” he said.
And accelerated target dates are a possibility, as the warm winter has helped workers get ahead. The deadline to deliver the bridge is in December 2018, 33 months away.