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Year-round, multi-use Samuel De Champlain Bridge path for cyclists, pedestrians officially opens

FILE -- The new Samuel de Champlain bridge is seen with the old bridge in the background in Montreal on Monday, June 17, 2019.
FILE -- The new Samuel de Champlain bridge is seen with the old bridge in the background in Montreal on Monday, June 17, 2019. Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

Cyclists and pedestrians willing to brave the Canadian winter are now able to trek across the Samuel De Champlain Bridge.

The bridge’s new multi-use path, announced by Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne this summer, allows access for pedestrians and cyclists 12 months of the year, and connects with existing routes in Montreal and Brossard.

READ MORE: Drivers feel pushed aside as Montreal adds more and more bike paths

“Pedestrians and cyclists now have access to a multi-functional, reliable and safe path, which allows them to cross the Samuel-De Champlain bridge throughout the year,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna in a statement Monday.

“This marks a turning point for active transportation in the greater Montreal region.”

Cyclists are asked to respect a 20 km/h speed limit, and it’s noted that heavy snowfall and icy conditions could force the path’s closure at times.

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The path features surveillance cameras for safety reasons, while emergency assistance buttons will direct people to emergency services.

Any eventual closures will be announced on the bridge’s website.

Cyclists on the fence about bike path on new Champlain Bridge
Cyclists on the fence about bike path on new Champlain Bridge

Motorcycles, scooters and other motor vehicles, however, are forbidden from using the new lane, according to bridge’s website.

The bridge opened for car traffic last summer, with the northbound lane opening on June 24, and the southbound lane on July 1.

The Samuel De Champlain Bridge is 3.4 km long and has three lanes in each direction for cars, as well as a central deck for public transit for the future Réseau express métropolitain (REM) train.