ASSESSMENT OF THE WORKS CARRIED IN 2015
STATUS OF THE CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE
To keep you informed about the current state of the Champlain Bridge’s girders, we have simplified the results of our most recent inspection reports to provide you with a brief analysis.
Out of the 350 girders (or beams) on the bridge, 100 have been significantly affected by road salt. Our Corporation’s efforts are focused on these 100 girders the most.
The girders are ranked according to a four-colour code (red, yellow, green and black). Red, yellow and green girders meet an acceptable safety level. The majority of the green girders are in adequate condition, following reinforcement work carried out since 2009; yellow girders are being monitored; and red girders are being very closely monitored.
The black girders represent a structural problem. For example, on November 12, 2013 a major crack was detected on one of the girders. This girder was then identified in black in our table and traffic immediately stopped on the road lanes passing over it. Since the installation of a permanent steel truss under this girder, the girder is again identified in green. Currently, no beam is identified in black on the Champlain Bridge.
VIEW THE STATUS OF THE GIRDERS Last updated on 2014/12/02
The major maintenance program under the Champlain Bridge is gathering pace. To avoid a situation like the one on November 12, 2013, our objective is to complete the carbon fibre reinforcement of all the girders ahead of schedule over the coming years, in 2014 and 2015, and above all not wait for a similar problem to happen again.
The girders marked in red and yellow remain priorities.
As the reinforcement work is progressively completed on the girders, we’ll keep you informed by posting regular updates about their status.
ENGINEERING AND INNOVATION
To ensure the good working condition of the Champlain Bridge corridor, our Corporation has established an extensive 10-year maintenance program that began in 2009. This rigorous and meticulous program allows us to perform the necessary construction work required to preserve the safety of this structure in the years to come. We believe that innovation is the best way to meet these challenges, and our engineers constantly strive to outdo each other in order to develop unique support systems designed especially for our bridges. An excellent example of their work is a post-tension system designed to cater to the bridge’s specific needs, which is currently being installed. Post-tension systems involve the installation of immense steel rods that compress the concrete on the bridge’s piers, beams or deck. This steel skeleton reinforces and solidifies the bridge’s structural components by returning them to their initial strength.
Several engineers within the Corporation are involved in the bridge maintenance program and are dedicated to the project on an almost full-time basis. This internal expertise is particularly important, allowing us to prioritize the work in a coherent and strategic manner, based on annual inspection reports. This allows us to recommend tailored work plans for the bridge. In previous years, we have implemented reinforcement techniques that are unique to the Champlain Bridge. We have also installed monitoring sensors that allow us to monitor the bridge’s state 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Currently, all the edge girders on the Bridge are monitored. This detailed tracking allows us be more efficient in planning the maintenance work that needs to be done.
The experts involved in this project must constantly aim to find appropriate solutions that have a minimal impact on traffic, a major challenge that we face every day. It is inconceivable for us to restrict lane use on one of Canada’s busiest bridges during rush hour. A tremendous amount of planning is required, which is why all work requiring access to the deck (e.g., paving, replacement of expansion joints or the central median) is performed at night and on weekends.
MAJOR MAINTENANCE PROGRAM ON THE CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE
The Champlain Bridge work is being carried out both ON and UNDER the bridge. The work UNDER the bridge (repairs and reinforcement of beams, piers and pier caps) will not cause any obstructions to traffic. These ongoing repairs are being carried out by approximately 75-125 workers every week over a period of 10-11 months per year.
Work ON the bridge (paving, replacement or repair of expansion joints and maintenance of the central median) requires major closures of traffic lanes. To significantly reduce the inconvenience for motorists, the work will be mainly carried out at night and on weekends.
To keep motorists informed about these road obstructions, we publish notices every day between 3 PM and 5 PM to announce scheduled weeknight road obstructions.
We also occasionally publish specific notices to announce scheduled major road obstructions on weekends. To provide an overview of our plans every year, future work schedules are also prepared. However, since weekend closures often depend on weather forecasts, it is important to regularly consult our blogs to monitor possible changes to our original plans.
FOLLOW OUR WORK
To follow our work and better plan your trips, follow our projects on three different blogs:
The purpose of these blogs is to inform the public about the work carried out on our network. Our goal is to transparently announce and describe scheduled road obstructions in order to significantly reduce the impact on users.
All work presents various challenges and issues. The complexity of these structures and related work require regular follow-up on a daily basis. The three blogs describe our work and related closures on a regular basis using maps, graphs and photographs. The blogs also allow the public to express their views about our projects. Ask a question, give your opinion or comment on one of our posts – we are interested in hearing from you.
St. Lawrence River – Champlain Bridge
Nautical traffic under Champlain Bridge
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) wishes to advise boat operators to take extra caution when going under Champlain Bridge due to the number of worksites and platforms installed under the structure.
In this context, the navigational zone under Champlain Bridge is considered a worksite and any ship navigating under and around the structure should proceed with caution.
Moreover, due to the challenges of performing preventive surface concrete scaling above the river during the winter, boat operators should be prudent because there is a slight risk some pieces of concrete may fall from the bridge. Even though this risk is very small, boat operators should remain attentive when going under the bridge.
Informational panels and buoys are installed to help guide boaters under the bridge where the preventive measures are taking place. Until then, the JCCBI invites boat operators to remain careful.