Delivery of prefabricated segments for the new Champlain Bridge: operation completed
Mission accomplished for the delivery of the 360 prefabricated segments to the site of the new Champlain Bridge from Quebec company BPDL’s (Béton Préfabriqué du Lac) factory in St-Eugène de Grantham, in the Centre du Québec region.
After shipping the 44 segments of the lower portion of the main pylon at the end of the summer of 2016, we received, last week, the last parts of the 316 segments of the bridge’s approaches, officially marking the end of a gruelling stage.
In the spring of 2016, load restrictions of the current Champlain Bridge triggered a change in strategy, which, to that point, involved only ground transportation.
A small logistics team was swiftly formed to find solutions to the unexpected challenge. Getting these parts of oversized dimensions and weight to the site required us to rethink our ground transportation strategy and, even opt for an increase in marine and rail transportation.
In 2017, more challenges arose, further impacting the delivery of the prefabricated segments.
Alex Demers, the manager responsible for the complex transportation logistics, explains what happened: “We took the bull by its horns in 2016 and devised various strategies and routes, by truck, boat and barge and even train, based on the type of part, weight, dimension and final destination on site. Thanks to the support of people like logistics coordinator Sylvain Matte, we were able to deal with the situations that came up from one week to the next. It was a colossal undertaking, and an example of hard work, persistence and careful planning.”
The on-site teams are now busy installing the last of the 234 precast segments of the west approach, thus completing the legs of the bridge that rise out of the water. Installation of the 90 segments on the east approach, on South Shore side, will soon be complete as well.
For now, our focus shifts to transporting the box girders. Progress is steady, but it still remains a significant challenge, due among other things, to the non-standard geometry. Our target: end of delivery in summer 2018.