The new Samuel de Champlain Bridge, one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects, is officially open in both directions.
Drivers are able to access both spans of the new structure, which links Montreal to the south shore, as of late Monday morning.
While the bridge’s northbound lanes were open to traffic last Friday, the southbound lanes were officially opened on Canada Day.
WATCH: After four years of construction, Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge is now officially open to commuters in both directions
The new structure, which spans 3.4 kilometres, has three lanes in each direction for cars. It also has a central deck for public transit, specifically for the future Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light-rail system.
“I’m very proud of all the team and all the people who worked on this bridge,” said Sandra Martel, the chief engineer of the new bridge.
The official opening also marks the final chapter for the old Champlain Bridge, which was inaugurated about 57 years ago. It will be dismantled over a three-year period starting in 2020.
Eugene Diabo worked on the piers and steel structure during the construction of the original bridge from 1959 until 1961. While he’s proud of what he accomplished, the old structure’s closure was also bittersweet.
“It’s a little sad to see it go,” he said.
The $4.2-billion bridge opens four years after construction began. It was originally scheduled to open to traffic last December, but delays pushed back the schedule and added more than $235 million to the price tag.
The pedestrian and bike path along the bridge will open later this summer.
WATCH: Cyclists on the fence about bike path on new Champlain Bridge
— With files from Global News’ Rachel Lau, Tim Sargeant and the Canadian Press
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