Champlain Corridor: weekend work BLITZES begin

First weekend of major work on May 17, 18 and 19

LONGUEUIL, QC, May 12, 2014 The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) would like to advise road users that weekend work BLITZES are set to begin in the Champlain Corridor, with the first taking place from Friday, May 16, at 9:00 p.m. to Tuesday, May 20, at 5:00 a.m.

This first weekend of major work kicks off the 2014 season and will allow us to finalize the support beam operation and also carry out various work projects on the A-15, the Bypass Bridge, and the Champlain Bridge.

Our objective is to use this closure to mobilize three different contractors who will be working day and night throughout the Champlain Corridor, in order to limit the amount of hindrances (one closure rather than three potential closures).

Details of the closures in the Champlain Corridor

During this period, a single lane will be open on the A-15 North and South. On the Champlain Bridge, a single lane will be open towards the South Shore and two lanes will be open towards Montreal.

There is no work expected this weekend on the Bonaventure Expressway towards downtown, which makes it a good choice for accessing the island of Montreal when coming from the Champlain Bridge.

However, Clément Bridge will be closed towards the Champlain Bridge, in order to improve accessibility to île des Sœurs. This closure will also allow us to install beams for a new viaduct as part of the Bypass Bridge project. The Champlain Bridge can be accessed via Exit 4 of the Bonaventure Expressway.

It is important to note that the lane width will be reduced to 3 metres during this period on the A-15 in both directions and on the Champlain Bridge towards the South Shore. Trucks that require wider lanes will have to use alternate routes.

Several on- and off-ramps will also be closed during this period to access and exit the bridge, including Exit 53 of the A-15 South for Route 132 and Exit 61 of the A-15 North for Atwater.

We invite you to refer to our presentation to see all the access and exit ramps that will be closed while this work takes place, as well as the detours that will be set up. As well, the speed limit on the network will be reduced to 50 km/h.

Road users are encouraged to avoid the Champlain Bridge corridor, where traffic will be particularly heavy, and instead use the Jacques Cartier, Victoria or Honoré Mercier Bridges, as well as the Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel, to access or leave the island of Montreal.

Also note this work may be postponed due to weather conditions. A notice will be posted on our blog (champlainbridge.ca) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. according to the weather forecast to advise road users whether or not the work will take place.

For île des Sœurs residents

For residents of île des Sœurs, it is very important to note that Exit 57-N of the A-15 South as well as Exit 5 of the Bonaventure Expressway via Clément Bridge will be closed during this BLITZ. 

Exit 57-S of the A-15 South and Exit 57 of the A-15 North will remain open.

To leave île des Sœurs, motorists may use the access ramps for the A-15 North, A-15 South and Bonaventure Expressway. The island of Montreal will remain easily accessible via the Bonaventure Expressway.

Finally, it is very important to note that the Chemin de la Pointe Nord will be completely closed in both directions at the Île des Sœurs Bridge. Pointe Nord can be accessed via René-Lévesque Blvd. Traffic will be heavier on île des Sœurs in the Pointe Nord area.

Finalizing the support beam operation

The support beam on the Champlain Bridge will be removed during this first BLITZ.

A permanent steel modular truss is currently being installed beneath the problematic girder using barges on the St. Lawrence River. This installation procedure has been modified from the initial procedure, in order to avoid having to completely close the bridge, as was the case last November.

During the weekend BLITZ, once the truss is installed, work teams will begin transferring loads from the support beam to the steel modular truss.

Once the steel truss is bearing all the loads of the problematic girder, where a crack was detected last November, we will begin dismantling the support beam. Crane set up on the river will allow teams working directly on the bridge to remove the five huge sections of the beam.

These steel sections will be taken back to the riverbank by boat, freeing up the traffic lanes. The bridge will regain its full width, and the morning dedicated bus lane will very likely be reopened.

Champlain action plan: a record year under the bridge

In 2014, close to 85% of the work will take place under the bridge structure without having to close any traffic lanes. The work will be carried out simultaneously on the beams, the slab and the piers to ensure the safety of the bridge from now until it is replaced. As a proactive measure, reinforcements will be added to the beams and the installation of instrumentation will be finalized with the implementation of new sensors.

These sensors will enable inspectors to monitor the Champlain Bridge 24/7. This measure is in addition to regular inspections allowing us to closely follow the bridge's behaviour.

The JCCBI work calendar for 2014 is available online on our blog champlainbridge.ca.

SOURCE The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

For further information: Jean-Vincent Lacroix, Director, Communications, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), Office: 450 651-8771, ext. 232, Mobile: 514 294-1940, jlacroix@pjcci.ca; Anne-Marie Braconnier, Advisor, Communications, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), Office: 450 651-8771, ext. 465; Mobile: 514 292-4493; abraconnier@pjcci.ca