Largest Bridge Repair Project in Canada - Proven construction technique to be used on Honoré-Mercier Bridge



    CHATEAUGUAY, QC, June 16 /CNW Telbec/ - At a press conference in
Châteauguay today, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
(JCCBI), in conjunction with the Québec Department of Transport (MTQ),
announced the details of the project to replace the apron of the
Honoré-Mercier Bridge. Work on the project, which began recently and will be
finished in 2011, will proceed in two separate phases. Phase one is valued at
$66 million. The bridge was built in 1934, and the deck has never before been
completely replaced. This project will extend the life of the bridge for
another 75 years with a proven effective construction technique involving the
use of precast concrete panels to minimize the project's impact on bridge
traffic.
    Mr. Glen Carlin, JCCBI General Manager, said that the federal and
provincial governments will finance the project, while The Jacques Cartier and
Champlain Bridges Incorporated will act as the Project Authority. The two
phases of the project will require a higher total investment than the Jacques
Cartier Bridge re-decking, making this the largest bridge repair project in
Canadian history. Another highlight is the tripartite agreement involving the
governments of Canada and Québec, and the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, a
Canadian first.

    A proven construction technique

    "The primary goal will be to minimize the impact on people's normal
bridge use, especially during rush hours," Mr. Carlin said at the press
conference. From 2008 to 2011, major work to strengthen the steel structures
and install precast concrete deck panels will require periodic lane closures
outside of peak traffic periods. When this happens, detours will be announced
on the JCCBI Web site at www.pjcci.ca. At all times, however, at least one
lane in each direction will be open to traffic.
    The technique chosen for this project, calling for prefabricated deck
panels, is the same one used for the re-decking of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
This proven approach is the fastest and most effective deck replacement
method, and offers a longer design life than other methods while meeting the
highest safety standards. The project will also allow the installation of a
combined bikeway/sidewalk path on the bridge to accommodate cyclists and
pedestrians wanting to cross the river.
    Mr. Bernard Caron, Regional Director of the Ministère des Transports du
Québec for the Montérégie region, stressed his department's commitment to
developing ways to reduce the impact of the project on local residents, in
cooperation with the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). "We will do
everything we can to keep people and goods moving as normally as possible
during construction," said Mr. Caron.

    A two-stage project

    This re-decking project has been divided into two separate contracts. The
Mohawk Bridge Consortium (MBC), a Mohawk business group, has been awarded
Contract A, which involves strengthening of the steel structure and
replacement of the reinforced-concrete bridge deck on the three access ramps
that go through the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. This first phase of the
project is valued at $66 million. Work has already begun, and will mainly
involve the southern approach ramps on the federal portion of the bridge. Some
of the work on the ramp decks will require traffic deviation to speed up
completion of this first phase of the project.
    A public tendering process for Contract B is slated for the fall of next
year. This phase will cover the federal portion of the bridge between the
ramps covered by Contract A and the steel arch span over the St. Lawrence
River, as well as much of the provincial portion of the bridge north of the
steel arch span. This second phase will consist of replacing the deck by the
same process used for re-decking the Jacques Cartier Bridge, i.e. using
precast concrete deck panels. This method makes it easier to re-open the
roadway to traffic promptly during the morning rush hour, as opposed to
cast-in-place concrete, which requires a lengthy cure time.
    A consortium of engineering-consulting firms specializing in major
projects (BPR, Cima +, and Axor) will provide contract administration and
oversee all work, in addition to providing traffic management during all
phases of the project. Each contract will create approximately 1,000 direct
and indirect jobs per year for the duration of the project, not counting the
economic spin-offs for companies along the South Shore and throughout the
Greater Montréal area.

    About The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

    The mission of The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated is
to manage, operate and maintain the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Champlain
Bridge, the Bonaventure highway, the federal portion of the Honoré-Mercier
Bridge, the Melocheville Tunnel, and the Champlain Bridge Ice Control
Structure to ensure safe and efficient travel for users.

    About Transports Québec

    The mission of the Ministère des Transports du Québec is to ensure the
mobility of people and goods throughout Québec on safe, efficient
transportation systems that contribute to the sustainable development of
Québec. The Department is the leader in transportation in Québec. It is
committed to offering competent and innovative management of the systems over
which it has direct responsibility. It relies on close cooperation with its
public and private partners to offer appropriate and functional transportation
systems to the population and businesses.




For further information:

For further information: André Girard, Vice-president, Communications,
The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, (450) 468-5775,
andre.girard@pontsfederaux.ca; Sources: Jean-Vincent Lacroix, AGC
Communications, Office: (514) 849-7000 #230, Cell: (514) 249-1940,
jvl@agccom.com; Serge Vallières, AGC Communications, Office: (514) 849-7000
#223, Cell: (514) 892-7205, sv@agccom.com

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The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

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