Unique Challenges for Jacques Cartier Bridge Major Reinforcement Work

December 22, 2016

Started in May 2016, the major structural steelwork to reinforce the Jacques Cartier Bridge will continue until 2019. The work aims to extend the operating life of this Montreal icon. St. Lawrence Erectors, a subsidiary of Canam Group, will carry out work for The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) until the summer of 2017.

Inaugurated on May 24, 1930, this historic structure was built to standards that permitted using products that are now highly regulated, including lead, barium sulphate and arsenic (ingredients in the paint). Therefore, respiratory protection measures and a decontamination protocol have been put in place to ensure worker safety. The sand blasting residue must also be treated with caution and be properly disposed of in places specifically reserved for this purpose.

As part of the bridge reinforcement project, St. Lawrence Erectors must also replace steel chords and structural bearings. To prevent dust emissions during sand blasting and to reduce noise level during the work, sound dampening protective covers have been installed around the work areas.

This project has its challenges. However, for the team at St. Lawrence Erectors, a complex project like this is seen more as a challenge than as an obstacle. This seasoned crew has over 30 years of experience with steel bridges.

The steelwork in numbers:

  • 5,110 square meters (55,000 square feet) to be stripped and painted
  • 600 tons of steel components to be replaced
  • 200,000 rivets to be replaced by temporary bolts, to secure the structure during the work. The temporary bolts will then be replaced by galvanized bolts.

Watch a video of the work in progress.