The mayors of Montreal and Longueuil visited Ottawa Wednesday to fight for a toll-free replacement to the Champlain Bridge.

The pair appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.

Coderre stated that the only reason the bridge is being built is because the federal government did a subpar job building the initial bridge.

Montrealers shouldn't have to pay more for a replacement bridge, he said.

Coderre also said that the federal government’s arguments that the Champlain Bridge is a local bridge are misleading.

He argued that it is an extension of the most-used artery to the United States and therefore has economic implications for the rest of Canada.

“The reality now is that it belongs to the federal government and its duty is to make sure it stands -- for security, for the economy -- to make it stand and because we believe it's not a local and bridge and that bridge is high importance for the global economy. We don't have to put a toll bridge there,” he said.

According to figures presented by the two mayors, 30,000 drivers daily would avoid the Champlain Bridge given the presence of a toll, which would overwhelm others conduits to the island and have other negative implications.