February 23, 2018 4:26 pm
Updated: February 23, 2018 6:22 pm

Groups behind Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge say project will be done on time

WATCH: Will the new Champlain Bridge be delivered on time at the end of 2018 or will it be late? Global's Tim Sargeant takes a tour of the construction site to find out more.

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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.

READ MORE: New Champlain Bridge expected to open before Christmas despite rumours of delay

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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.

READ MORE: 2,000 defects found on Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge

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.

READ MORE: New Champlain Bridge celebrates one year of construction

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.

WATCH BELOW: Work on the Champlain Bridge

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.

READ MORE: Workers on overdrive to finish Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge

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.

READ MORE: Whistleblowing engineer who exposed Champlain Bridge woes faces sanction

The federal government says the precise deadline for the project is currently being negotiated.

READ MORE: Lawsuit filed over Champlain Bridge construction delays

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.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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