The New Champlain Bridge Corridor project involves replacement of the existing Champlain Bridge over the St Lawrence River. The new 3.4km bridge will have six lanes for vehicular traffic, as well as a segregated cycle and pedestrian lane. The project further includes construction of a smaller bridge for Île des Soeurs (Nun’s Island), and reconstruction and widening work on Autoroute 15 that runs through the centre of Montreal.

The new bridge will connect the Island of Montreal with the South Shore through complex highway junctions and smaller bridges. It will thus connect a major corridor used for cross-border goods transport between Canada and the US.

Infrastructure Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Federal Government, is executing the project. Construction was started in June 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2018.

The bridge is expected to be used by up to 60 million vehicles a year that will carry an estimated $20bn worth of goods. The project is expected to create employment for approximately 30,000 people in the Montreal region and across Canada.

New Champlain bridge corridor design and construction

The new cable-stayed bridge is designed for a life of 125 years and will include an elegant main tower with harp of cables. It will have a curved alignment supported by sculptural piers.

It will extend from the South Shore to Montreal in a long-span separated into three segments. It will feature two three-lane corridors for vehicular traffic and a two-lane transit corridor, which will be capable of accommodating a planned light rail transit system in future.

“The bridge is expected to be used by up to 60 million vehicles a year that will carry an estimated $20bn worth of goods.”

Both inbound and outbound independent traffic lanes as well as lookout points for pedestrians and cyclists will be provided.

The new bridge on the Nun’s Island will be 470m-long and constructed in the same alignment as that of the existing bridge.

A 3km-long highway will be added that will link the Île des Soeurs Bridge to the provincial section of Autoroute 15, while seven existing overpasses on the Island of Montreal will be reconstructed. A 1km-long highway link will be built between the new bridge over the St Lawrence and the Île des Soeurs Bridge.

Contractors involved with the bridge replacement

Signature on the St Lawrence (SSL), a consortium of SNC-Lavalin, Hochtief, Flatiron, Dragados Canada and Grupo ACS, was awarded a $1.8bn contract to design, build, finance and maintain the New Champlain bridge corridor, in June 2015. The contractual scope also includes operating and maintaining the bridge over the concession period that ends in October 2049.

TY Lin International and International Bridge Technologies, and MMM Group designed the new bridge, while Arup was contracted to provide the architectural design. Canam-Bridges was contracted to supply and fabricate the steel superstructure for the new bridge in May 2015.

New Champlain bridge corridor project cost and financing

The total estimated cost of the project is $4.24bn, which includes a $3.97bn contract between the Canadian Government and SSL for the construction and maintenance of the project.

The government will pay SSL $500m once half the bridge is completed by late 2017, while $700m will be paid upon completing the bridge and another $500m upon completing the work on the highways around the bridge.

An estimated $2.25bn will be spent for the construction of the project, $754m for operation, maintenance and repairs over the 30-year period, and $954.2m for interest payments by the private consortium. Further, $103.2m will be spent for land acquisition, $91.9m for planning and development, $66.7m for project management by the government, and $22.2m for an independent engineer to inspect the work.