The metropolis has a blocked artery: the A40 bridge connecting Vadroil-Dorian పశ్చి west of Montreal Island was closed again on Thursday, with no deadline to reopen.
Quebec government engineers have found that the structure – over a decade of life support – is in worse condition than expected.
In question: Damaged reinforcement rods jeopardize the appearance of the structure. Consequence: Closing Thursday at rush hour height.
On the spot, motorists waited for miles to take a detour through Highway 20 or Highway 30, the number of which was stopped. On average, 87,000 vehicles cross the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge every day, including thousands of trucks.
From Saint-Lazare to Vadroil-Dorian – no more than ten minutes during normal hours – Anne-Frederick Belanger spent almost an hour in his vehicle. Fortunately, she did not back down as expected on Thursday night, but she fears for the next few days.
If the bridge is not reopened, traffic will never stop.
Motorists should not hold their breath: Transport Minister Franంois Bonnardell and Chantal Rowley, the minister in charge of the metropolis and Montreal area, have not announced a reopening date. Quebec said “urgent work needs to be done to allow for the strengthening of many aspects of the structure” before reopening the bridge. The Vadroil-Hudson commuter train route is free until further notice.
“Completely frozen” streets
Motorists stuck in traffic are not the only ones taking the train against this situation.
The mayors of the municipalities connected by the bridge are already familiar with the effects of lane closure: their residential streets suddenly sink with the backup of cars.
“This means that Saint-Anne-de-Bellev will be completely paralyzed during rush hour,” said Paola Hawa, the mayor of the declining municipality. “Last week, when they closed an alley on the Ol-Ox-Tours bridge, our town froze from 2 to 9 p.m.”
We have known for many years that this bridge needs repair.
Paola Hawa, Mayor of Saint-Anne-de-Bellev
Senneville Mayor Julie Brisbois explained that local streets in her village were at risk of being occupied by motorists.
“Our streets are very narrow and not designed to accommodate traffic,” she said, adding that she was devastated by the news.
A few tens of kilometers from Senneville, Dustin Goyer and Miriam Berger think the sun is going up the river. For these residents of the West Island of Montreal, it was one of the small pleasures of their job at Codres, MRC de Vadroil-Soulanges Municipality. Until Thursday evening. “I’m angry. We already do 60 kilometers every day to get here. There, we’m going to waste time, go to sleep,” Dustin sighed.
For others, the closure could be the start of a new bridge construction that has been debated for years. “We have known for a long time that the bridge is in bad condition, but nothing is happening. There, they have to build another one! , Vadroil resident Chabane Tibish said.
The champlain is like a bridge
The Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge is a major structure about 2 km long, made of precast precast concrete beams whose structure, material and problems are reminiscent of the old Champlain Bridge.
At the same time it is still made of largely unknown material and the possibility of winter is disappointing to say the least, the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge follows the same path as its famous cousin. Eat by de-icing salt, which breaks down the concrete and turns the reinforcing strips inside the structure, causing cracks everywhere.
The bridge has been undergoing major repairs for almost 10 years. Furthermore, his condition continued to deteriorate.
For the first time, in December 2015, after work to strengthen the multi-million dollar pile, the Ministry of Transport had to urgently close the right lane of the bridge (towards Vadroil) and reduce the width of other traffic lanes. To maintain traffic capacity. One inspection revealed a large crack in one of the main beams, and the stitched pile, its steel frame, corroded, exposed to open space.
Rehabilitation work can take months; They took years. It costs almost twice as much as they should. In fact, they didn’t really stop there.
Three years later, in 2018, the department announced that the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge was nearing the end of its life and that another bridge would be built. We still have to find a way to keep it for another 10 years, at the same time we will build a rebuild of it.
25 to 50 million in two years
Currently, according to the ministry’s annual major works announcement, the bridge is still vaguely estimated to be “between 25 and 50 million” for two years of work that extends to 2023.
It is relatively obscure on the surface, but the Department of Transportation inspection reports, publicly, are filled with hundreds of photos, describing its sophisticated decay, especially the beams and piers.
The most recent report available since 2019 and extensively document “1 mm” wide fractures along ligaments in concrete beams.
In particular, the internal reinforcement steel cables are exposed, corroded and cut, and the piles are weakened by shearing, which causes vertical cracks up to 25 mm in the top of the barrel. [de la pile] .
After 56 years of service, the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge seen from below is twice its age.
“The Ministry of Transportation has taken a new step in its inefficiency,” said Mark-Andre Martin, president of the State Engineers’ Union, in a telephone interview. Tap. The union leader attributed the rapid decline in construction to the high subcontract and the alarm bell sounded too late.
“We don’t have enough people internally who have the expertise to oversee these structures,” he lamented. It is serious. ”