Four major activities for the construction of the approaches of the new Champlain Bridge
The prefabrication of the 38 marine foundations started in December 2015 and ended in November 2016, while that of the pier starters, which rest on the foundations, was completed in April 2017. Poseidon, our floating foundation installer, was back at work as soon as the ice melted, and we now have 32 foundations installed on the river bottom. Of course, there had already been 38 marine excavations in the riverbed and the bulk of the work was done last fall. As for the 36 land foundations, they are poured into place on solid ground or on the three large jetties. The foundations on the west jetty are the only ones that have yet to be finished.
Prefabricated pier segments
The off-site fabrication of pieces, a cornerstone of the SSL construction strategy, takes place in different plants throughout Quebec. Be it the concrete pier segments and slabs for the bridge superstructure, prefabricated in St-Eugène-de-Grantham, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Trois-Rivières, or the steel box girders for the superstructure of the approaches, fabricated in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and Terrebonne, everything is delivered to the site by road, sea barge and train.
The pier caps are the colossal, W-shaped lateral beams measuring over 50 metres wide on which the three traffic corridors will rest. The first pier cap arrived from Spain in April, and the pace of delivery is well under way. Up until spring 2018, a total of 37 steel pier caps weighing 400 tons will be delivered by boat and installed. Transporting them requires highly sophisticated maritime logistics. After they have arrived at the Port of Montreal, a winch barge tows them up the stronger currents found between de la Concorde Bridge and Victoria Bridge. Once past that area, a tugboat pushes the barge to its final destination, the work site.
Lastly, preassembly work for the steel box girders has started on the east and west approaches and will be completed in 2018. Once assembled, they will be transported by sea barge to their installation site, where they will sit atop pier caps, forming a steel skeleton for the new bridge. The work for this step will end in summer 2018. We will then be in a good position to develop the superstructure made of over 9,600 prefabricated slabs, the driving surface, and complete the finishing work for the new bridge.