Over the past 20 years, major ongoing repairs have been carried out to preserve the structure’s integrity and ensure that the bridge remains safe. Among the most important are the structural steel painting and repairs, guardrail replacement, signage replacement and pavement repairs program.
Re-decking of the Bridge
The Jacques Cartier Bridge deck replacement project, evaluated at over $125 million, was the most significant restoration project ever undertaken on a Canadian bridge. It was a challenge with respect to engineering, the technology used, project coordination and the impact of the work on users.
During two construction seasons in 2001 and 2002, the 71-year old Jacques Cartier Bridge underwent complete re-decking of the 5-lane wide, 2.7-kilometres-long bridge deck.
The new deck is constructed of precast, prestressed and post-tensioned panels made of high performance concrete (HPC) that were prefabricated in a temporary plant installed near the south end of the bridge. Exactly 1,680 prefabricated deck units, representing a surface area of about 62,000 m2 were installed mainly at night from April to October in 2001 and 2002.
The project was structured as a design-build involving a two-stage tendering process and the pre-qualification of contractors.
The new prestressed concrete deck panels were post tensioned transversally and longitudinally to control water infiltrations through construction joints made of rapid setting mortar. A new 2.5 m-wide, 2.7-kilometre-long bike path cantilevered on the upstream (west) side of the bridge was integrated into the prefabricated deck units. On the downstream (east) side, a 1.5 m-wide pedestrian sidewalk of equal length was incorporated into the new deck units.
The new deck has a new drainage system and new expansion joints. A waterproof membrane covers the post-tensioned deck and is overlaid with a polymer modified high-performance asphalt pavement.
The deck replacement project also included major improvements to the Craig Curve section, which involved increasing the curve’s radius from 76 m to 180 m and providing a new superelevation of 2.1% to replace the original transverse profile, which was relatively flat.
The entire project was completed without disturbing normal rush-hour traffic.