MONTREAL -- The multipurpose path and sidewalk of the Jacques Cartier Bridge reopened to pedestrians and cyclists Thursday morning.

"The multipurpose path and the sidewalk will be open at all times, except for occasional closures due to spring cleaning operations or weather conditions," the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) said. "It is essential that users respect the closure notices for the multipurpose path and the sidewalk for safety reasons."

The announcement signals the end of the corporation's winter operations simulation project.

Last December, 25 cyclists were selected to test the bridge's maintenance, monitoring and communications protocols under real conditions.

The hope was to find ways to keep the path open all winter by assessing what kind of services can realistically be provided to keep the route safe and clear of ice and snow.

The report on the Jacques Cartier Bridge project will be made public sometime this summer.

The JCCBI says it also plans to update the south shore cities of Longueuil and Saint-Lambert, which are closest to the bridge, about the project’s progress.

The bike path on the Champlain Bridge Ice Control Structure is expected to reopen starting mid-April, at the same time as the Parc Jean-Drapeau bicycle network.

"The JCCBI invites pedestrians and cyclists to be cautious and courteous on the paths and to follow all safety instructions throughout the season," the corporation added.

The Jacques Cartier Bridge simulation project was introduced following protests by cyclists who opposed the closing of the bridge's bike path for the winter.

The fight to keep it open has been going on for over a decade, with some cyclists openly admitting to "jumping over the fence" in an attempt to travel on the bridge.