All marine footings and pier starters for the new Champlain Bridge are now complete

The new Champlain Bridge is entering a new phase in its construction with the precast of its final “marine footing and pier starter” set now complete.

After establishing the jetty in August 2015, Signature on the Saint Lawrence (SSL) set up its prefabrication areas, marked off by four massive, white tents, which made it possible, shortly thereafter in December 2015, for crews to pour the concrete for the bridge’s very first footing.

In all, 38 of these “marine footing and pier starter” sets have been precast.  They are moved by the supertransporter “Thor the Ant” to the west jetty loading dock, before Poseidon, the floating footing installer (FFI), delivers them to their precise, pre-excavated location in the riverbed for installation.  To date, SSL has placed 26 such sets in the Saint Lawrence River. Installation of these structures has begun anew now that ice on the river has melted.

“We are very proud of this milestone in the construction of the new Champlain Bridge. We owe this colossal achievement to teamwork that started more than 18 months ago, and that will enable us now to finish placing all of the “marine footing and pier starter” sets in the river. Over the coming months, the new bridge will have all of its legs in the water. Precast segments will then be gradually aligned to reach the pier caps and, ultimately, the superstructure,” explains Sylvain Tremblay, the engineer tasked with the prefabrication and post-tensioning efforts on the project.

The “marine footing and pier starter” sets by the numbers

  • Weight: 900 metric tons (on average)
  • Width at the base: 11 metres
  • Length at the base: 11 metres
  • Height: up to 14 metres