The Champlain Bridge spans the St. Lawrence River and Seaway, and is located between the Honoré Mercier and Victoria bridges, some two miles (3.22 km) upstream from the latter.
On the South Shore, the bridge has direct connections with Highways 132, 10 and 30. Beginning at Nuns’ Island, to which it is connected by access and exit ramps, the bridge separates into three approaches onto vthe Island of Montreal. The first connects it to Wellington Street in Verdun, the second links up with Highway 15, leading to the Atwater Tunnel, the TransCanada Highway (Highway 40) and Highway 20, and the third approach, namely the Bonaventure Expressway, brings traffic into downtown Montreal and onto the Ville Marie Expressway.
The Champlain Bridge is the busiest bridge in Canada. Since it opened in 1962, the number of vehicles travelling over it has increased constantly. From an annual average of 7,300 vehicles in 1963, traffic rose to 33,400 vehicles in 1968 and 109,700 in 1989. In 1999, the daily average was 134,000 vehicles, of which 8% were trucks. Today, approximately 59.4 million vehicles cross the Champlain Bridge annually.
The Champlain Bridge has six lanes, three in each direction, with a concrete separator in between.
Since 1982, a reserved bus lane travelling counter to traffic has been operating on the Champlain Bridge during rush hour. The Agence métropolitaine de transport, the provincial government agency in charge of public transit for the Greater Montreal region, manages the lane. Statistics provided by the agency indicate that some 30,000 public transit users travel in the reserved lane every day of the week.
The lighting system consists of sodium high pressure lamps attached to steel poles. An electrical sub-station located in the administration building supplies the power needed to light the bridge and its approaches.
To facilitate identification, the bridge and its north and south approaches were divided into 13 sections