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New Champlain Bridge already has thousands of defects


New Champlain Bridge – Workers on the new Champlain Bridge have already encountered problems on the structure and had to make more than 2,000 repairs, according to a report by the Journal de Montréal.

“That there are so many problems and that we spend so much time at the site repairing all this, no, it’s really not normal,” an engineer involved in the site, who requested anonymity, was quoted as saying.


New Champlain Day – Artist Rendition – Infrastructure Canada

The main problems detected were in six areas:

– HOLES BADLY MADE AND MISALIGNED: Some holes are not well positioned in parts that need to be bolted to each other, thus preventing their alignment. Other holes are poorly made and required new drilling.
– POROUS STEEL: Some steel plates from Tecade used in the ‘caissons’ (watertight retaining structures used to work on the foundations of the bridge pier) show signs of porosity. The metal contains bubbles that can compromise its strength.

– CRACKED STEEL: They ‘discovered cracks that cross the entire plate in over a dozen locations next to the connection holes’, an engineer report from GHD said, who inspected the repairs made to the Tecade caissons.
– DEFECTIVE SCREWS AND BOLTS: Complete boxes of bolts and nuts arrived from Spain with important defects. Several did not have the dimensions required on the plans.
– INCOMPLETE WELDS: Teams of workers had to repair many defects in metal work especially incomplete welds.
– MISSING CONCRETE: The pillars of the bridge are composed of huge blocks. One of them was blown up because of a defect in the concrete used. The workers also had to add concrete in the spacer, a huge piece that must link the two pillars of the main pylon. The piece arrived with holes revealing the metal frame.

New Champlain Day – Artist Rendition – Infrastructure Canada

With all this threatening the deadline for the new bridge to be ready, the consortium in charge of its construction is still promising it for December of 2018. It is very troubling and has some people already scratching their heads and asking if this could be the next ‘Olympic Stadium’?

Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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