Well all the noise now is about how everyone agrees 'they absolutely have to replace the Champlain Bridge'.That's funny cause the Victoria Bridge is 3 times as old,and the Jacques Cartier is almost twice as old, now all bridges need maintenance,How come the Champlain Needs to be 'replaced' Could it be the more affluent thoughts of the nouveau rich on Nuns Island want a better looking Driveway to their overpriced condos
The inhabitants of Nuns Island can't stand the thought that they are really part of Verdun,so look for that title / status to change as well. (jmho)
MONTREAL - Ottawa is poised to spend an additional $158 million to repair it, and the provincial government is musing that perhaps it's time it was rebuilt, presuming all the other alternatives have been examined. But the Montreal area mayors whose communities rely on the Champlain Bridge for transportation and commerce say the time for studies and "procrastination" is over and the moment has arrived for Canada's most travelled bridge to be replaced.
"It's a no-brainer," Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay told reporters as the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) adopted a resolution calling upon the federal and provincial governments to "quickly" get to work on a new span.
"We're talking about a fundamental (thoroughfare) not just for the South Shore but for Montreal . for Quebec and for the United States.
"We're talking about the economic future of Quebec and the Montreal region.
"We believe the governments must make a decision as soon as possible."
The MMC represents 82 municipalities in the greater Montreal area, including the island of Montreal, Longueuil, Laval, the North Shore and the South Shore.
The MMC's resolution notes that feasibility studies on a new bridge have been completed, that engineering surveys indicate the 49-yearold span should be replaced and that "the safety of those who use the bridge daily must be ensured."
It goes on to ask Quebec and Ottawa to create a planning committee that would oversee the design and construction of a new bridge, to take a stand on "the best option for the quickest replacement for the Champlain Bridge" and also include a light rapid-rail line along the route of whatever replaces the span.
Asked how soon he'd like to see the bridge replaced, Tremblay replied: "Yesterday."
The MMC's resolution follows the creation this week of a coalition on the South Shore headed by Brossard Mayor Paul Leduc to press the federal government, which also administers the Jacques Cartier and Mercier Bridges, to replace the Champlain Bridge.
Asked if he thought an imminent federal election call could see the need for a new bridge turned into an election issue, Tremblay replied:
"I can guarantee that all the parties will promise to build a new bridge during an election campaign.
"But it's one thing to promise it - it's another to get it done."
Tremblay's announcement on Thursday coincided with the publication of a news release from Montreal's official opposition describing the mayor's silence on the issue earlier in the week as "a flagrant lack of leadership."
Opened in 1962, the Champlain Bridge is crossed 60 million times a year by vehicles, including inter-city bus lines using a reserved lane linking Montreal with the South Shore.
The span is also estimated to carry $20 billion in goods each year.
But while the member cities of the MMC are calling for prompt action, the federal government has decided to ensure the existing span's safety before building a new bridge.
In a letter to The Gazette this week, federal Transport Minister Chuck Strahl wrote that "the construction of a new bridge is a complex and costly process.
"The repercussions of decisions made today concerning a new bridge will be felt for years to come."
Strahl wrote that once a feasibility report produced by the federal agency that administers the span and Transport Quebec had been completed, "we will examine the results and consider all the options, including the replacement of the Champlain Bridge."
Quebec Transport Minister Sam Hamad has adopted a similar stance, telling reporters this week that, although a new bridge seemed "the surest and most feasible solution" to dealing with the problems posed by the aging Champlain Bridge, all technical aspects of building a new span would have to be examined