Montreal says bridges, tunnels, in critical condition
Published Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:55AM EDT
MONTREAL - The city of Montreal is asking for more money to cope with the decrepit state of bridges, tunnels, overpasses and other structures under its jurisdiction.
On Wednesday the city released multiple reports examining 586 structures under its care, and the city says nine overpasses, two tunnels and one snow dock are in what it calls critical condition and need urgent work.
Despite the analysis, Mayor Gerald Tremblay said there is no imminent danger of collapse.
"They are secure, given the information that we have," he said
Another 46 structures, everything from bridges to supporter walls to stairways, are in very poor shape and need work as soon as possible, but the city says it cannot afford to do that work immediately.
Of that list of structures in the worst shape, two tunnels, one stairway, and four bridges are closed to traffic, while an additional 14 bridges are open but only with limitations as to how much weight they can bear.
The city stresses that while it describes tunnels and bridges as being in critical condition, that does not they are in imminent danger of collapse, only that they need to be repaired, or in some cases torn down and replaced as soon as possible.
The first priority: rebuilding Henri Bourassa Blvd. where it meets Pie IX Blvd., which the engineering report says is the worst structure in the city. That overpass is currently open to traffic with restrictions, but is scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt in 2012.
Also on the city's replacement list for next year are the intersections of Henri Bourassa and Sherbrooke St. E., as well as the Upper Lachine Rd. and St. Jacques St. overpass , while the the Jolicoeur and l'Asile bridges will be repaired.
From 2013 to 2015, at least 15 bridges and overpasses will require large scale repairs.
The city of Montreal currently budgets $30 million to maintain its roads and bridges. That amount is going to nearly double, and the city is gearing up to spend $157 million over the next three years.
Montreal has limited control of infrastructure
The city of Montreal, like all municipalities, is in a situation that may seem odd to the average taxpayer: it does not control many of the largest roads and bridges that run through and to the city. Of the 586 structures under its jurisdiction, it shares responsibility for 197 of those bridges, tunnels and retaining walls with 12 other organizations, including different levels of government and crown corporations.
In total Montreal maintains 274 bridges, 21, tunnels, 40 pedestrian overpasses, 192 retaining walls, 10 noise screens, and 16 snow docks (used by trucks to dump snow into open pits).
The vast majority of infrastructure built in Montreal is more than 40 years old, but all of it is supposed to undergo a full inspection every four years. and a quick visual check every year.
Some are inspected much more often than that.
The Henri Bourassa Blvd. and Pie IX overpass have been inspected eight times since 2008 and now undergoes continual monitoring.
Catchment screens will be attached under the bridge this fall in order to prevent crumbling concrete from falling, while the entire structure is scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt in 2012.
The 12 structures in critical condition:
- Henri-Bourassa East & Pie IX Blvd (traffic restrictions)
- Wellington Tunnel (closed)
- Henri-Bourassa East, dir. East & Metropolitain East access ramp
- Rockland Ave. & Bates Rd.
- Beaudry Tunnel & Notre-Dame East (closed)
- Jean-Talon West & Wilderton (traffic restrictions)
- Jolicoeur Bridge (traffic restrictions)
- Louvain / L'Acadie Blvd Rail bridge
- Park Ave. & Hwy 40
- Henri-Bourassa E. & Sherbrooke E (traffic restrictions)
- Upper-Lachine Rd & St. Jacques St. (traffic restrictions)
- Saint-Michel quarry snow dock
This article has been changed from its original version.