The consortium building Montreal’s Champlain Bridge over the Saint Lawrence River is saying it can deliver the new structure on time by December 2018 but it will cost more than the original estimate.
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Members of the consortium along with representatives from the federal government and the Crown corporation that manages two of Montreal’s bridges gave an update Friday on the progress of the project.
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They say the new span replacing the Champlain Bridge is 65 per cent complete and the goal of having it ready by the end of the year is realistic and attainable.
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The number of workers on the project increased from 650 last summer to 850 in January in order to get work done more quickly and within the scheduled timetable.
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No one was able to give details on the extra costs of the project, which had an original price tag of $4.2 billion to be paid by the federal government.
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The consortium led by SNC-Lavalin risks being fined $100,000 a day for the first seven days past the scheduled completion date and $400,000 a day after that.
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The federal government says the precise deadline for the project is currently being negotiated.
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Ottawa is already preparing for a possible delay by setting aside an extra $10 million to reinforce the aging Champlain Bridge in case it has to remain operational until summer 2019.