Canadian Consulting Engineer

Design-build methods used to repair major Montreal bridge

August 15, 2001
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineers are working at full speed on the rehabilitation of Montreal's main traffic crossing this summe...

Consulting engineers are working at full speed on the rehabilitation of Montreal’s main traffic crossing this summer. The $120 million Canadian government project to revamp the 2.7 kilometre Jacques Cartier Bridge began in February and is expected to be completed late in 2002.
The project is the first to use design-build methods on a major existing structure in Canada and involves completely replacing the reinforced concrete deck piece by piece with prefabricated panels. The panels are being manufactured in a plant alongside the bridge, and once lifted into place are held together with steel cables under tension.
Andr Girard of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc., the federal authority in charge, says they are hoping to finish the Longueuil to Ile St. Helene section this year, and the section from Ile St. Helene to Montreal by next year. The bridge is a vital artery connecting the Island of Montreal with the south shore. From carrying 18 million vehicles a year when it was constructed in 1962, it now carries an estimated 43 million vehicles per year (by comparison, the Angus Macdonald bridge in Halifax carries around 14.6 million vehicles a year). The structure has been repaired before in its 70 year history, but has never had its deck completely replaced. Besides replacing the five-lane road deck, the design-builders are making major changes to the roadway geometry of the Craig Curve section, and adding a bicycle path on the upstream (west) side.
The design-build project is being done by Groupement SMDB, a consortium made up of SNC-Lavalin of Montreal, Montacier of Quebec and Demathieu & Bard, S.A. of France. SNC-Lavalin is the contractor’s engineer, Buckland & Taylor of Vancouver is the owner’s engineer, and McCormick Rankin of Mississauga, Ontario are named as an independent engineer. Genivel-BPR is the project manager. Work has to be carried out overnight, and any delays will cost the contractor $15,000 for each 10 minute traffic stoppage.


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