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Government wants architecture for new Montreal bridge

Canada's Minister of Transport, Dennis Lebel, announced on May 14 that the government will be working with the city of Montreal to ensure the new bridge across the St. Lawrence River will have architectural quality and will provide...


Existing Champlain Bridge, which opened in 1962.
Existing Champlain Bridge, which opened in 1962.

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Dennis Lebel, announced on May 14 that the government will be working with the city of Montreal to ensure the new bridge across the St. Lawrence River will have architectural quality and will provide “spectacular” views of downtown.

The federal government is building a new bridge corridor to replace the aging, utilitarian, and much repaired Champlain Bridge, which opened in 1962. The existing six-lane crossing is 3.4 kilometres long and carries 160,000 vehicles a day across to Nun’s Island, connecting the Island of Montreal to Brossard on the South Shore. It carries an estimated $20-billion in international trade.

Minister Lebel said the government is heeding comments made during a roundtable on the architectural quality of the new bridge held on February 18. “We all want the new bridge to reflect the values of the community, to showcase its role as the most important gateway to Montreal, and to preserve the spectacular view of downtown from the bridge,” said Lebel. “Our government will work with local experts to make this vision a reality, while respecting timelines and budget.”

The bridge is to be built as a public-private partnership. The government has been holding public consultations over the design and expects to submit a report by the late summer of 2013. Last April a consortium of Dessau and Cima+ was hired to carry out a two-year federal environmental assessment for the project.