(Longueuil) A new phase of deconstruction of the old Champlain Bridge, which linked Montreal and the South Shore for 57 years, will begin in the coming weeks: the removal of the bridge’s piers and footings located underwater.
The company Les Bridges Jacques Cartier et Champlain (PJCCI) explains that this operation will require a new method of deconstruction. It will be carried out using specialized excavators mobilized on barges measuring 210 feet by 144 feet which will serve as a work surface to evacuate the concrete debris to the wharf of the L’Île-des- jetty. Sisters, near Montreal.
The piles of the old structure will be deconstructed from top to bottom by percussion using hydraulic hammers installed on the excavators. During the work, the work barges will be grouped together so that the deconstruction debris is recovered without impacting the environment and, subsequently, upgraded in the materials recycling process.
To remove the soles, two barges will first allow them to be confined. Subsequently, excavators equipped with a GPS positioning system will extract the footings under the St. Lawrence River, down to seabed level.
The operation will then be repeated for the 34 soles of the Grand Bassin La Prairie.
Once the deconstruction is complete, the empty spaces left by the footings at the level of the seabed will be reconstituted by a stone backfill.
As for the spans of the original Champlain Bridge, their removal began some time ago. At the end of last month, JCCBI announced that a dozen had already been removed thanks to a custom-built mega-catamaran capable of supporting up to 4,800 tons.
The original Champlain Bridge was decommissioned on June 28, 2019, 57 years after its inauguration.
In the summer of 2020, the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges announced that the deconstruction work would be carried out until the winter of 2024 within a total envelope of $ 400 million.