MONTREAL: The Canadian Government plans to proceed with a new bridge across the St Lawrence in Montreal to the tune of $5 billion. The government said it has reviewed the pre-feasibility and assessment studies for the ten-year project, and will examine creating a public-private partnership to build the new bridge and the use of tolls. The government will also consider bridge governance options, including what role Quebec could play in the project.
“Building a new bridge across the St Lawrence is vital to the economic growth of Montreal and the region, and is beneficial to Canada as a whole,” said Denis Lebel, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities and minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “This is a major infrastructure project that will bring benefits for years to come by ensuring the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in this busy corridor.”
Until a new bridge can be built, the government said it will continue to work to ensure the existing Champlain Bridge remains safe. “The safety and security of people crossing the Champlain Bridge every day are a priority for our government,” said Lebel. “Since 2009, we have announced significant investments totalling $380 million to keep this important bridge safe for all who use it.”
The six-lane Champlain Bridge is the busiest vehicular bridge in Canada. An estimated 11 million public transit commuters, 60 million vehicles and $20 billion in international trade cross the bridge annually. The bridge is an important trade corridor for the regional economy and also benefits the national economy. It also responds to the objectives of Canada’s gateway strategies.