LONGUEUIL, QC, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) would like to advise road users that following regular
inspections carried out on the girder requiring reinforcement, where a
significant crack was detected on Tuesday, November 12, we have decided
that a new repair strategy is required.
The state of the girder has changed over the last few days, enough so
that the repair strategy and method recommended at the beginning of the
situation is no longer applicable. The Champlain Bridge remains safe
for all motorists thanks to the measures that were quickly implemented,
notably those involving the closure of two traffic lanes above the
girder. All other girders on the span are behaving well and do not show
any signs of weakness.
Expect very heavy traffic - privileged access for buses
Traffic will be reduced to two lanes per direction during the next few
days. The Corporation will hold a priority meeting with its partners
today to implement new mitigation measures to deal with this situation
and analyze the configuration of the lanes on the bridge for the rush
While this work is carried out, buses will have priority access to the
bridge via previously planned reserved lanes on the Montreal side as
well as the South Shore side. Access to the bridge will therefore be
much easier for public transit users. However, the reserved lane will
not be able to be implemented on the bridge itself.
Once again, we strongly suggest using buses, commuter trains, the
metro's yellow line, and carpooling during this period. The other South
Shore bridges will be unable to compensate for these lane closures; as
a result, all South Shore motorists, regardless of which bridge they
use, are encouraged to favour public transit in order to distribute
traffic across all bridges.
We ask that all road users and the media participate in encouraging
public transit and carpooling.
A robust measure to isolate the girder in two stages
In order for traffic to resume as normal on the entire bridge, the Support Beam operation has been launched.
The Support Beam operation was developed over the past few years in order to respond in
the event that a Champlain Bridge girder could not be secured by
isolated reinforcement measures.
Since 2009, two robust support systems have been designed, built and
stored in the event of such a possibility.
Phase 1: Stabilize the situation and secure the girder
The first step consists of transporting to the bridge approaches the
five sections of the massive steel beam, which until now has been
stored near the Jacques Cartier Bridge. This beam will be assembled
near the bridge and then moved using a long-load dolly onto the bridge,
where two cranes will pick it up and place it just above the girder
that requires reinforcement.
The support beam will then be installed above the existing girder across
its entire length and attached at the piers. Enormous steel rods
anchored to the support beam will be lowered beneath the girder in
order to fully support it. Once this girder has been secured, we will
begin the process of reopening the traffic lanes that are currently
It should be noted that this support beam will result in the width of
the open lanes being reduced. This temporary situation will only last
until the second phase of the operation. The objective is to stabilize
the situation as quickly as possible, secure the girder, and then
launch phase 2 once traffic has been re-established.
Phase 2: Install a permanent support structure
Phase 2 will consist of installing steel modular truss from below, which
will be attached to the span's two piers. This grating will also
support the girder across its entire length, like the support beam
installed in the first phase.
Installation of the permanent support (modular truss) will begin in
spring 2014 due to the difficulties of carrying out this operation in
winter conditions. Once this second phase is completed, the support
beam will be removed and the full lane width will be re-established on
The Corporation is carefully planning this major work, in order to
complete the first step of the operation in mid-December, as announced, and to open the six lanes to traffic as soon as
The beam will be installed during an intensive BLITZ of two days
(ideally on weekend), the date of which remains to be confirmed. During
this period, a single lane will be open on the Champlain Bridge in each
To avoid major delays, road users will be encouraged to avoid the
Champlain Bridge during this period and use the other South Shore
We invite you to follow this operation at www.champlainbridge.ca.
SOURCE: The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
For further information:
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI)
Office: 450 651-8771, ext. 232
Cell: 514 249-1940