MONTREAL - Those hoping to motor into Montreal over the Champlain Bridge Thursday morning were forced to find a different strategy.

The two lanes entering the city were closed due to broken dilation joints between two spans.

The joints help the bridge remain flexible and their breakage does not endanger the structure, however it left a pothole-like gap which could cause a vehicle to get wedged into the hole.

Bridge authorities jumped into the breach and installed steel plates that allowed the bridge to be reopened around 10 a.m.

Further paving work will be done on the bridge from 11 p.m. Thursday night to 5 a.m. Friday morning, resulting in the closure of two out of three lanes in both directions. The Bonaventure Autoroute will also be closed going towards downtown from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

The repair work on the dilation joints will continue Friday night from 10:30 p.m. to around 9 a.m. Saturday morning.