Reinforcement work wraps up on Champlain Bridge

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Reinforcement work wraps up on Champlain Bridge

The Champlain Bridge should be secure enough to last until the new one opens, now that crews have installed the last of the trusses meant to reinforce the bridge.

This story begins in 2013, after crews discovered a crack in one of the bridge's support beams during a routine inspection.

At the time, officials said they weren't expecting the beams to start showing signs of stress so early. The bridge opened in 1962.

The crack prompted the challenging installation of a "super beam" to reinforce the damaged beam.

The super beam was removed in 2014 and replaced by 94 modular trusses. The trusses weigh 56 tonnes each and are 4.7 metres high and 53 metres long.

The steel trusses are meant to support the 100 edge girders along the sides of the bridge, which have been damaged by road salt over the bridge's lifetime. 

The federal government set aside a total of $378 million to reinforce the old bridge.

Work on the new bridge is underway. It is slated to open to traffic in December 2018.