A new bridge over the St. Lawrence for 2018, says Minister Lebel

MONTREAL, Dec. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today announced a new accelerated timeline for the construction of the new bridge for the St. Lawrence.

"We will deliver the new bridge for the St. Lawrence in 2018, three years earlier than originally planned," said Minister Lebel. "In fact, concrete actions to move the project ahead have already been taken."

The award of the contract for engineering and coordination services to ARUP Canada Inc. on October 18th has accelerated the original timeline significantly, enabling the procurement process for the public-private partnership (PPP) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new bridge to be launched in early spring 2014. Although an international architectural contest must now be set aside, precise architectural guidelines for the design of the new bridge will be included in the PPP procurement documents.

The accelerated timeline responds to the recommendations of the Buckland & Taylor report, prepared for the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) as part of the Champlain Bridge surveillance and maintenance program.

"While we cannot cut corners with infrastructure of such great importance for the metropolis and the economy of our country, we can certainly accelerate the process," continued Minister Lebel. "No effort will be spared to deliver this project on time and within budget, keeping travellers and goods moving safely and efficiently through this important trade and transportation corridor."

On October 5, 2011, the Government of Canada announced that it would be building a new bridge to replace the Champlain Bridge. This bridge is one of the busiest in Canada, with $20 billion worth of international trade crossing it every year. The Champlain Bridge is a crucial corridor for the regional economy and for Canada as a whole. The project also meets the objectives of Canada's gateway strategies.

Canada's Economic Action Plan promotes new opportunities for growth, job creation and long-term prosperity. Thanks to the Government of Canada's leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery, with more than a million net new jobs created since July 2009.

To learn more about the new bridge for the St. Lawrence, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/nbfsl.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Ottawa
613-948-1838

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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