Time is of the essence for new Champlain Bridge

2012 inspection report reveals condition of bridge is worse than first thought

A 2012 engineering inspection report reveals 2018 may not be soon enough for the delivery of a new Champlain Bridge.

The document obtained by La Presse through Access to Information, outlines many concerns and recommendations. Among them: deteriorating pillars, a high risk of concrete splitting; and cables and joints that need to be replaced.

“We cannot overlook delamination or problems that occur in the expansion joints, or in any part of the structure. These are critical segments and the report is clear that it needs to be done today,” Hellen Christodoulou, Quebec regional director for the Canadian Institute of steel construction, said.

Christodoulou says Quebec is dealing with what happens when structures are not inspected on a regular basis.

“The damage has reached a point where the expenditure is too high, so we are stuck with an infrastructure problem. But there are problems with bridges across Canada.”

The Champlain Bridge Corporation says the bridge structure itself is not at risk and a new bridge should be ready for 2018. In the meantime, maintenance work will continue.

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