The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) would like to advise road users that the first phase of the Support Beam operation is expected to take place during a work BLITZ this weekend, from Friday, November 29, at 9:00 p.m., to Monday, December 2, at 5:00 a.m.
During this period, a single lane will be open in each direction to car traffic on the Champlain Bridge. Traffic will be extremely heavy and motorists are encouraged to use the other South Shore bridges, public transit, or carpooling, and above all avoid the Champlain Bridge.
It is extremely important to note that all six lanes of the Champlain Bridge will be completely closed to car traffic overnight from Friday to Saturday, from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., in order to proceed with lifting and installing the super beam. This delicate operation requires us to use the full width of the bridge and will take place at night to limit impacts on traffic.
The weekend operation, which is taking place 24/7 at an accelerated pace, requires optimal weather conditions, and a confirmation will be posted on Friday at around 2:00 p.m. on the champlainbridge.ca blog in order to confirm whether or not this massive undertaking will occur according to the forecast.
Phase 1: a major operation on the bridge running 24/7
This operation consists of using two 160-ton cranes to install an enormous 75 tons steel beam above the girder that requires reinforcement. Numerous engineering calculations and detailed analyses have gone into planning this major operation.
Teams have been working since earlier this week to transport and assemble the five sections that make up the support beam. The teams worked day and night from Tuesday to Thursday to assemble the support beam. This assembly operation is nearly completed.
The support beam will now be installed above the existing girder across its entire length and supported at the piers of the bridge. Enormous steel rods anchored to the support beam will be lowered beneath the problem girder in order to fully support it. Once this girder has been secured, we will begin the process of reopening as many traffic lanes as possible.
The objective is to reopen the three Montreal-bound lanes and two lanes towards the South Shore by Monday morning.
We aim to open the third lane towards the South Shore in December following the operation, but the width of the lanes in this direction will be reduced. It's important to bear in mind that as the support beam is installed on the deck, it will encroach upon the traffic lanes. The lane configuration must therefore be reviewed to be optimized.
The reserved bus lane will once again be open for evening rush hour, but it cannot be restored on the bridge for morning rush hour, as one lane will be closed towards the South Shore.
Trucks will continue to be able to use the bridge towards both Montreal and the South Shore. However, trucks will have to use the left lane when heading towards the South Shore.
Phase 2: a permanent support structure under the bridge
This temporary situation will only last until the second phase of the operation. The objective is to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible, secure the girder, and then launch phase 2.
Phase 2 will consist of installing steel modular truss below the deck, which will be attached to the span's two piers. This truss will also support the girder across its entire length, like the support beam installed in the first phase.
Installation of the permanent support (modular truss) is in the planning stage and information regarding the execution of this work will be provided at a later time. Once this second phase is completed, the support beam will be removed and the full lane width will be re-established on the bridge.