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An eco-responsible deconstruction for the old Champlain Bridge

Its dismantling, which began in July 2020  on the longest section that spans the St.Lawrence River will continue until the end of 2023 .

Before being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work was to be completed in 2022.

This bridge was inaugurated in 1962 built to cost as little as possible … about $ 35 million (1962).

Including the approaches and the Bonaventure Expressway, the total cost was approximately $ 52 million.



Today, we still plan to respect the initial budget of 400 million for deconstruction work , despite the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contract awarded to the NHSL consortium is 225.7 million, but this sum does not include the costs incurred for the sanitary protection of the site.



The development of the deconstruction plan was developed around challenges with serious consequences  for fauna, flora and climate.

This unique project is carried out with the aim of minimize the ecological footprint .

Indeed, melting the materials of the bridge would generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.

The strategy: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and then eliminate.

A public consultation was held in 2019 and allowed more than 4,000 citizens to comment on various aspects of the deconstruction of the bridge.


”  The ideas collected fed into our action plan. As this bridge has been paid for by taxpayers, they will be able to reuse its materials against a symbolic sum for architectural, recreational, tourist or artistic projects.  ”

says Vincent Guimont-Hébert, engineer and manager of sustainable development for the federal corporation Les Ponts Jacques Cartier and Champlain Incorporée.


Some pillars along the banks will be kept for the commemoration of the old bridge as part of the project ” Champlain heritage  ”, Which also includes the development of the shores at Nuns’ Island and Brossard.

This part of the project will not be completed until 2025.



This vast eco-responsible deconstruction project is a first in Quebec.

”  We hope to create a precedent and promote better practices, among other things at the time of the deconstruction of the Île d’Orléans bridge, scheduled for around 2028, underlines Vincent Guimont-Hébert. Even if our Champlain Bridge upgrading project will not be perfect, if it acts as a spark plug for the future, it will already be very good.  !  ”

underlines Vincent Guimont-Hébert.



History of the old Champlain bridge


Technical characteristics


Type Cantilever girder bridge
Length 3,440 meters
Main staff 215.5 meters
Width 23.8 meters
Height 49 meters away
Clearance 36.6 meters
Materials) Steel,  reinforced concrete,  Prestressed concrete


Construction 1955-1962
End of service
Architect (s) Dr PL Pratley
HHL Pratley
Philippe Ewart
Lalonde and Valois



Technical comparison of Champlain bridges, old and new.

Old bridge (1962) New Bridge (2019)
Length 3  440  meters ~ 3  400  meters
Suspended section 215.5 meters 238 +10 meters
Max Height of the way 38.5 meters
Max Height of the book 49 meters away 170 meters (main pylon)
Width 23.8 meters ~ 60  meters
Aprons 1 3 separated
Lanes 6 10 lanes (6 traffic + 2  security  (shoulders) + 2 reserved)
Battery 56 (48 single stacks + 8 triples) 42 double batteries
Materials Battery,  trimmers  and  apron  steel cantilever section Concrete piers and steel deck
Concrete 250,000 tons
Steel 25,000 tons 60  000  tons








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31 October 2022

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