The Hudson ice bridge could likely open late this year — and possibly not at all — due to a warm winter.
“We’re expecting colder weather, but only for four days,” said Claude Desjardins, the bridge’s owner.
“We need colder weather for a longer period.”
The structure, which connects Hudson to Oka, eases the commute from the North Shore to the Island of Montreal by offering motorists an easy way across the Ottawa River.
While November started off well for the ice bridge due a blast of winter weather, Desjardins said a warm December foiled hopes of an early opening. It now appears the bridge won’t open before the end of January, which is when cars typically start rolling across it.
Desjardins said he is concerned that if the rest of the winter resembles the season up until now, the bridge may not open at all this year.
In the past 10 years, the bridge was forced to close for three separate years because the weather couldn’t produce sufficiently thick ice. It needs to be at least 38 centimetres thick at its thinnest point for cars to safely use it.
Hudson resident Roald Longhi point out to Global News the bridge has advantages for drivers in the winter since, unlike the summertime ferry, motorists don’t have to wait for the boat to come in.
“Well you have to wait for it in the sense that [the bridge] has to freeze over,” he said, laughing. “We’re still waiting for that.”