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Samuel-De Champlain Bridge

Coordinates: 45°28′10″N 73°30′58″W / 45.46944°N 73.51611°W / 45.46944; -73.51611
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Samuel-De Champlain Bridge

Pont Samuel-De Champlain (French)
Samuel-De Champlain Bridge as viewed from Brossard in July 2019
Coordinates45°28′10″N 73°30′58″W / 45.46944°N 73.51611°W / 45.46944; -73.51611
Carries8 lanes (4 northwestbound, 4 southeastbound) of A-10 / A-15 / A-20
2 tracks used by the REM
CrossesSt. Lawrence River and Saint Lawrence Seaway
LocaleBrossard and Montreal, Quebec, Canada
OwnerThe Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc.
Maintained byThe Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc.
DesignCable-stayed bridge
MaterialSteel, Concrete
Total length3,400 m (11,155 ft)
Width60 m (196.85 ft)
Height170 m (557.74 ft)
Longest span240 m (787.40 ft)
Clearance below38.5 metres (126 ft)
Design life125 years
ArchitectPoul Ove Jensen
DesignerT.Y. Lin International
Constructed bySNC-Lavalin, ACS Group, Dragados Canada
Construction start2015
Construction end2019
Construction cost$4.2 billion[1]
OpenedJune 24, 2019 (2019-06-24) (northbound/westbound span)[2]
July 1, 2019 (2019-07-01) (southbound/eastbound span)[3]
InauguratedJune 28, 2019; 5 years ago (2019-06-28)[4]
ReplacesChamplain Bridge, Montreal (1962–2019)
Daily traffic159,000

The Samuel-De Champlain Bridge, colloquially known as the Champlain Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge design by architect Poul Ove Jensen and built to replace the original Champlain Bridge over the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, between Nuns' Island in the borough of Verdun in Montreal and the suburban city of Brossard on the South Shore. A second, connected bridge links Nuns' Island to the main Island of Montreal. It is the busiest bridge in the country with more cars flowing into it than any other bridge.[citation needed]

The new span is located just north of the location of the original Champlain Bridge, which began demolition as soon as the new bridge was completed. The new bridge carries eight lanes of automobile traffic of the A-10, A-15, and A-20, with one lane in each direction dedicated for buses. It also includes a multi-use lane for cyclists and pedestrians. The central portion of the bridge deck carries the South Shore branch of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) automated light metro system.[5] At 60 metres (200 ft) wide, the new Bridge is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world that uses two planes of cables.[6]

It is one of the largest infrastructure projects ever built in North America and with an estimated 59 million vehicles a year, one of the busiest crossings on the continent.[7] It is built to last 125 years with the usage of stainless steel and high-performance concrete,[8] and replaces the previous 57-year-old bridge,[9] which had become functionally obsolete and its structure having been degraded by the repeated application of de-icing salt.



The Champlain bridge is a 3.4-kilometre (2.1 mi) crossing. It includes an asymmetric cable-stayed bridge with a 240-metre (790 ft) main span, a 168-metre-high (551 ft) concrete tower, and stay cables in a harp arrangement. The asymmetrical back span is 124 metres (407 ft). The 2,044-metre (6,706 ft) west approach structure has 26 spans that are typically 80.4 metres (264 ft).The east approach is 780 metres (2,560 ft) long and includes a 109-metre (358 ft) span over Route 132.[6]

The bridge was built as part of a larger $4 billion project that included:

  • The Samuel-de-Champlain Bridge[10]
  • A new Autoroute 10 (A-10) approach
  • A new 470-metre (1,540 ft) île-des-Sœurs bridge and a highway on île-des-Soeurs
  • Improvements to nearby parts of the A-15

The design of the Champlain Bridge addressed seismic activity, soil liquefaction, light-rail transit loading, ship collision, and ice loading. The bridge is configured with three separate decks, one for each direction of vehicular traffic and a third in the center for the Réseau express métropolitain rail corridor. The northbound deck is wider to include a multi-use corridor for cyclists and pedestrians, requiring the cable-stay bridge to be asymmetric in the transverse direction as well as longitudinal. The main tower is shaped like a tuning fork and is supported by twenty-one 1.2-metre (3.9 ft) drilled piles. The decks are supported in the approach spans by W-shaped piers.[6]

Construction history


In September 2007, faced with rising costs for the maintenance of the Champlain Bridge (commissioned in 1962), then Canadian Minister of Transport Lawrence Cannon confirmed that his department was seriously considering the construction of a replacement structure. In August 2008, Transport Canada announced that it was exploring different scenarios for a new bridge. In October 2011, then Minister of Transport Denis Lebel officially announced that construction on the new bridge would begin within 10 years.

In November 2014, then Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced that she was abandoning the idea of naming the new bridge in honor of Maurice Richard after consulting the family of the former ice hockey champion. Prior to the 2015 Canadian federal election, the 28th Canadian Ministry planned on imposing a $2-$4 toll on the new bridge, however, this plan was abandoned following the election of the 29th Canadian Ministry.

In April 2015, the federal government selected the JV consortium: Signature on the St. Lawrence Group to build the new bridge. The consortium mainly includes: SNC-Lavalin, the Spanish ACS Infrastructure, and Dragados Canada. T.Y. Lin International is serving as the Lead Designer.[11]

Construction on the new bridge officially began on June 16, 2015. On December 19, 2018, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne announced that the official name of the new bridge will be the Samuel-de-Champlain Bridge.[12] The bridge opened to northbound/westbound traffic on June 24, 2019 (St-Jean-Baptiste Day), with the official opening ceremony being held on June 28, 2019, and southbound/eastbound traffic opening on July 1, 2019 (Canada Day). The multi-purpose runway was opened in November 2019 followed by the REM train tracks on July 31, 2023.[13][14]

Construction method

View from the westbound roadway

In order to meet the 42-month construction deadline, many steel and concrete bridge elements were prefabricated, with a portion of the work taking place on temporary piers. Three jetties were built: one on the east from Brossard, one on the west from Nuns' Island, and one from the center, adjacent to a dike along the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

  • The pier through the canal, allowed, by means of cofferdams, the storage of piles of construction material.
  • The central jetty served as a construction platform for the piers and towers of the section of the bridge utilizing guy-wires. Temporary pillars used during the construction of the Millau Viaduct in France were erected to support the cable-stayed span during construction. The main cable-stayed span above the seaway was assembled in segments by means of a crane.
  • The 500 metre (yard) long west pier was divided into three pre-assembly areas: a first for the concrete foundation footings that serve as the base for the viaduct section crossing the river, a second for the steel headers that complete the piles, and a third for the steel superstructures that wear the aprons. During the prefabrication of the 38 marine insoles, a pile primer and working platform were added to form a pile base measuring up to 14 metres (46 ft) high. A super-transporter moved these stack bases from the prefabrication area to a loading area from where they were lifted by an industrial catamaran. The catamaran then deposited these bases in spaces drilled to a depth of 4 to 5 metres (13 to 16 ft) into the riverbed. Two floating cranes finally overlaid the bases of the prefabricated elements to form piles and headers. The steel box girders supporting the three decks of the bridge were then deposited on the trimmers as they were completed.
    The cable-stayed Samuel-De Champlain bridge (background) illuminated at night, with the old truss cantilever bridge (foreground) being dismantled, May 2022.

See also



  1. ^ Bruemmer, Rene. "New Champlain Bridge set to open by the end of June". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  2. ^ Magner, Jason (June 24, 2019). "Drivers line up to be first across new Champlain Bridge". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  3. ^ Scott, Marian (July 1, 2019). "Farewell to old Champlain Bridge as new one opens to southbound traffic". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Magner, Jason (June 28, 2019). "Champlain Bridge inaugurated, but much work still left to do". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Lau, Rachel. "Montreal's new Samuel de Champlain Bridge opens northbound". Global News Montreal. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Nader, Marwan; Sanjines, Alex; Choi, Carol; Duxbury, James; Baker, George; Patel, Hardik; Shi, Sam; Ingham, Tim; Tazir, Hayat (April 2020). "Spanning the Saint Lawrence". Civil Engineering. 90 (4). Reston, Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers: 46–53. Archived from the original on October 14, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  7. ^ Olson, Isaac. "It comes with sacrifices': After 4-year slog, Samuel De Champlain Bridge a source of pride for workers". CBC News. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  8. ^ "New Samuel De Champlain Bridge built for performance, not style, says architect". CBC News. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Teisceira-Lessard, Philippe. "Pont Champlain: un délai "très court", dit l'architecte". La Presse. Montreal. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  10. ^ "New Champlain Bridge Project Website". newchamplain.ca. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "New Champlain Bridge Corridor Project". Road-Traffic Technology.com. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Magder, Jason (December 19, 2019). "The new Champlain Bridge is finished — mostly". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  13. ^ "Work schedule 2021". REM. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  14. ^ Nerestant, Antoni (July 31, 2023). "Stuck railway switch on Montreal's new REM to blame for bumpy start to 1st official day". CBC News. Retrieved July 31, 2023.

Media related to Samuel-De Champlain Bridge at Wikimedia Commons