Design rendering of the new Champlain Bridge
(Image captured from the video below, “Design unveiled for new bridge”)
IMAGINE WORKING ON A PROJECT DESTINED TO BE A MAJOR CITY’S NEXT GREAT LANDMARK! That’s what the designers anticipate for the new Champlain Bridge, which stretches across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to the South Shore in Brossard.
The new $4 billion Champlain bridge corridor project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America and is expected to create 30,000 jobs.
The current bridge, named after Samuel de Champlain, the “Father of New France, is Canada’s busiest, with nearly 60 million vehicles crossing its expanse every year. Opened in 1962, however, it is now more than 50 years old and needs to be replaced. The new bridge is being built to last at least 125 years.
Stretching 3.4 kilometres, the new Champlain Bridge, is designed as a cable-stayed structure, meaning that the bridge deck is supported by cables from towers (or pylons), requiring a huge amount of steel – in this case, about 250 cubic metres of it. Seventy-four underwater footings, each measuring 11 metres wide by 11 metres long by 2 metres thick, will form the base of the bridge, which will be constructed using a modular approach, with a mix of pre-fabricated concrete pieces and pre-assembled steel installed one piece at a time.
The first footing (image captured from the video below, "first footing")
Replacing Canada’s busiest bridge is no easy task. Before construction of the actual bridge could even begin, three temporary jetty’s (see video) had to be constructed as work platforms, using a total of 1 million tons of stone. Then there’s “Thor the ant,” a super transporter that was specially built to move 38 of the 650-tonne concrete footings onto massive catamarans from which they’ll be lowered into their foundations at the bottom of the river.
In December 2015, the first major milestone was achieved when 605 tonnes of concrete was poured for the first permanent piece of the structure – the first footing (see video) that will support the pier legs of the bridge.
Total construction is estimated to take 42 months and is scheduled for completion in December 2018.
See more photos and videos on the New Champlain website.
You can also follow its progress on the Nouveau Champlain Twitter page.
Timeline: The Champlain Bridge – From innovative to unsalvageable in 50 years. A look at the story behind Canada's busiest bridge.