The federal government has pledged an additional $61m for improvements to two south shore bridges.

The Mercier Bridge will receive an additional $50m for the second phase of improvements.

In 2006, the federal government pledged $85m for the first phase of the work.

The complexity of the work and higher-than-expected inflation costs are two of the reasons the federal government gave for the cash infusion. Phase two will include reinforcing the sub-structure of the whole span and adding a bikeway.

The work is expected to start in the spring and be completed by 2010.

The bridge spans the St. Lawrence river, between Lasalle on the island of Montreal and the Mohawk territory Kanawakhe on the south shore. It was opened to the public in the summer of 1934.

The Champlain Bridge will receive $11m for improvements to the access ramps on the Montreal side of the span.