Tearing down the old Champlain Bridge is expected to cost about $400 million, according to preliminary estimates by the federal Crown corporation that manages the structure.
It will also cost $124 million to maintain the Champlain Bridge, the busiest in Canada, before it is demolished and replaced, Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc. (JCCBI) said Wednesday.
The dismantling will start in 2019 at the earliest, and it will take up to four years to complete the bridge's demolition.
The bridge authority has yet to hire contractors, but it released a study outlining different options for dismantling the old bridge when the new one is ready.
The bridge that links the South Shore to Montreal was built in 1962 but has been deteriorating in recent years.
In 2011, when it was announced that the bridge would be replaced, an estimated 140,000 cars were using it each day.
The new bridge is slated to open by Dec. 1, 2018. The material from the old bridge will be recycled and used in future construction projects in Montreal, according to JCCBI.
Spring work blitzes
Most of the repair work on the old bridge is already done, JCCBI said, but some reinforcements will still be required based on the recommendations from the most recent inspection report.
There will be two weekend work blitzes in May to replace expansion joints on the bridge deck.
The lanes heading toward Montreal's South Shore will be closed to traffic during the weekend of May 20 and 21.
The Montreal-bound lanes will also be closed during the last weekend of the month, from May 27 to 28.
Lights on the way
The Jacques Cartier Bridge, which links Montreal to Longueuil, is almost ready to be lit up as part of Montreal's 375th and Canada's 150th anniversaries.
About 95 per cent of the 2,800 lights are installed and functioning, said JCCBI. The lights, which will change based on seasons and events in the city, will line the 2.5-kilometre structure and its turrets.
The lights should be up and running by May 17. The cost of that project is $39.5 million.