$51 million price tag for maintenance work on Champlain Bridge
The Corporation in charge of the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges announced that in 2018, $51 million dollars will be invested to keep the Champlain Bridge functional until 2019.
Since construction on the new Champlain Bridge began, keeping the original safe has cost upwards of $450 million dollars.
Maintaining the degraded structure is not cheap, but officials insist there’s no danger.
“We will never put at risk the users of the bridge,” said Glen Carlin from the Cartier and Champlain Bridges Corporation. “If we feel there is an unacceptable risk, we will close lanes.”
The Corporation said that overall, $211 million will be spent this year to maintain key bridges around Montreal.
Despite the new Champlain Bridge being promised by December, Carlin said they’re prepared to handle delays.
“The government specifically had asked us to have a strategy in place as though the new bridge would be late, would be delivered in June of 2019. So everything we’re doing is based on that scenario,” he said.
Almost half the money being spent will go towards repairing the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, reinforcing and replacing metal and steel.
The goal is to keep the bridge functional for another 60 years. But the work will come with its share of inconvenience.
About 15 night closures will take place between May and November.
The corporation in charge of both bridges said work will be coordinated with other major construction in Montreal, and the goal is to minimize the impact on traffic.