Montreal's Champlain Bridge opens but late and over-budget
Montreal’s US$3.5-billion, 3.4km-long Samuel de Champlain Bridge has opened after four years of construction and months of delays, according to Canadian media reports.
Work is continuing on the cycle and pedestrian paths and eventually a light-rail train will run down the middle of the six lane bridge over the St. Lawrence River.
The new structure has a life-span of 125 years and runs alongside its namesake Champlain Bridge, a steel truss cantilever that opened in 1962 which will be demolished. According to media reports, the old bridge was the busiest in Canada, carrying over 50 million vehicles a year and an estimated $15 billion worth of trade.
Signature on the St Lawrence (SSL) - led by Canada-based SNC-Lavalin Group - is the private consortium that built the six-lane public-private project under a 30-year contract.
The new and old bridges are named after the French explorer Samuel de Champlain who founded Quebec City, the Quebec province’s capital, in 1608. Work includes construction of a smaller bridge for Île des Soeurs - Nun’s Island - and widening Autoroute 15 through the centre of Montreal.
World Highways reported on the progress of the bridge last year.