March 18, 2016 7:10 pm
Updated: March 18, 2016 9:43 pm

Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge on schedule

WATCH ABOVE: Work to build the new Champlain Bridge is well underway and you could almost say it's a race against time. Contractor's have to meet a delivery deadline of Dec. 1, 2018. If not, they face huge financial penalties. But as Tim Sargeant reports, engineers are feeling confident they'll finish on time.


MONTREAL – It’s a logistical and engineering challenge: Building a 3.4-kilometre bridge over the vast St. Lawrence River by Dec. 1, 2018.

The steel and concrete structure will be made up of many components, but there are five essential ones: The concrete footing, concrete piers, steel pier caps, steel superstructures and the concrete deck.

So far, six concrete footings – essentially the foundation of the bridge – have been prefabricated on the west jetty of the bridge.

Thirty-eight of these footings will eventually be lowered into the water beginning in May. Another 36 will be poured on site in the river.

WATCH BELOW: Daniel Genest talks about his pride for such a large-scale project

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From there, engineers build upward, similar to Lego blocks.

“We’re starting bottom up, putting them level and perfect at the bottom of the river and then just stacking, like Lego blocks basically,” Sylvain Tremblay, the area manager for prefab, said.

The $2.5-billion bridge should make a lot of Montrealers proud, according to one of the chief engineers.

“This is a once-in-a-career opportunity and to deliver a project of this magnitude you need a great team, you need great people and you need passionate people,” Daniel Genest, the Champlain Bridge construction director said.

The main feature of the bridge is the cable-stayed portion, a 500-metre span supported by reinforced cables.

Some of the foundations for the piers of these structure are already in the water.

“The main structure erected in the first quarter or second quarter of 2018 which will give us time to finish the bridge and open it on the first of December,” Frédéric Guitard, the cable stayed bridge manager, said.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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