Government of Canada invests in Champlain Bridge



    MONTREAL, May 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada's commitment to
improve the economy through investments in infrastructure was demonstrated
today when the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and
Government Services, announced a $212-million contribution to rehabilitation
projects for Montreal's Champlain Bridge. This investment follows a request
from Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated to accelerate funding
for a 10-year rehabilitation program starting in 2009.
    "Investing in infrastructure projects such as the Champlain Bridge is
part of our Government's Economic Action Plan which aims to help us pave the
way for a better future for everyone living in Montreal and surrounding
areas," said Minister Paradis. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen
Harper, key investments such as the one we are making in the Champlain Bridge
will help keep our economy moving through tough times and ensure that Quebec
and Canada emerge stronger than ever."
    Like most bridges built in the 1960s, the Champlain Bridge undergoes
regular maintenance to ensure its continued safety. However, in order to
preserve the safety of the bridge for the future, Jacques Cartier and
Champlain Bridges Incorporated has developed this comprehensive ten-year
repair program to implement specific projects outside the scope of annual
maintenance and regular repairs. Disruption for commuters, truckers and
travellers during the bridge's rehabilitation will be minimal, as most of the
work will be executed underneath the bridge and during off peak hours.
    In addition to these rehabilitation projects, Jacques Cartier and
Champlain Bridges Incorporated and the Ministère des Transports du Québec will
soon be tendering a pre-feasibility study to examine long-term options for the
Champlain Bridge including public transit alternatives that will allow the
federal government to make sound decisions for the future.
    This commitment illustrates that the safety and security of federal
bridges and infrastructure renewal are a priority for the Government of
Canada. Investments like this will help Canada emerge from the current
economic crisis with a more modern infrastructure.
    To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit
www.actionplan.gc.ca

    
    Backgrounder
    ------------
    ------------

                               CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE
                               ----------------

    The six-lane Champlain Bridge opened to traffic on June 29, 1962, and has
become one of the busiest bridges in Canada, with an estimated 58 million
vehicles using it every year. It also represents an important route for
truckers going to and returning from the United States. The Champlain Bridge
has experienced growing levels of traffic since its construction, almost 50
years ago.
    Like most bridges built in the 1960s, the Champlain Bridge undergoes
regular maintenance to ensure its continued safety. As well, a team of experts
conducts annual inspections on the bridge. There are also specialized
monitoring instruments installed on the structure, which allow for immediate
notification and response.
    Although the bridge is safe and secure for all Canadians and travellers,
it requires additional repair work over the next 10 years to ensure that it
remains safe and secure for everyone using it, and that it can continue to
carry the volume of traffic forecast.
    Canada's Economic Action Plan identified $212 million in funds to renew
federal public infrastructure by renewing the Champlain Bridge. Specifically,
the repairs will include the rehabilitation and the reinforcement of all parts
of the bridge, from the pier caps - which support the deck - to the
replacement of deck joints and the reinforcement and post tensioning of beams,
which provide additional support for the bridge.
    Disruption for commuters, truckers and travellers during the bridge's
rehabilitation will be minimal, as most of the work will be executed
underneath the bridge and during off peak hours.
    In addition to rehabilitation projects, Jacques Cartier and Champlain
Bridges Incorporated and the Ministère des Transports du Québec will soon be
tendering a pre-feasibility study to examine long-term options for the
Champlain Bridge that will allow the federal government to make sound
decisions for the future.
    Any long-term solution will take into account the safety and security of
users, value-for-money for taxpayers, the reduction of traffic congestion and
environmentally friendly transportation alternatives such as public transit.

                                                                    May 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of Transport
Minister John Baird, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport
Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.
Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to
date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made
available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890