New Bridge for the St. Lawrence - Structural condition of the Champlain Bridge approach spans, edge girder condition assessment and rehabilitation requirements

September 19, 2013

Prepared for:

Transport Canada
800 Rene-Levesque Blvd.
Suite 638
Montréal, Quebec
H3B 1X9

Prepared by:

J.L. Richards & Associates Limited
Consulting Engineers, Architects & Planners
864 Lady Ellen Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K12 5M2

JLRNo. 26200

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Scope of Services

2.0 Discussion

Executive Summary

J.L. Richards & Associates (JLR) was retained by Transport Canada to undertake a high level review of a report prepared by Buckiand & Taylor Ltd. (B&T) concerning the structural integrity of the Champlain Bridge in Montréal, Quebec.

The final "draft report prepared by B&T was dated September 19, 2013. JLR received this report on September 23, 2013 and attended a meeting to discuss the report on September 24, 2013.

JLR's report provides our observations on the quality and standard of care for the engineering services provided by B&T.

It is JLR's opinion that B&T met the standard of care expected from engineers providing services for a structure of this scale and importance.

1.0 Introduction

J.L. Richards & Associates Limited (JLR) was retained by Transport Canada under PWGSC Call-Up No. 1 for Standing Offer No. T8010-120138/001/QCW.

The scope of services identified by Transport Canada in their August 21, 2013 letter included:

  1. Review of the Buckland & Taylor Ltd. (B&T) report;
  2. Participate in a telephone conference call involving Transport Canada and Buckland & Taylor representatives to clarify any questions related to the data used in the preparation of the Buckland & Taylor report;
  3. Provide feedback as to its completeness, engineering soundness of the assessment and conclusions, accuracy and sense of urgency;
  4. Identify any additional work, including further inspection or analysis if required in order to support the findings identified in the B&T report;
  5. Provide a written preliminary report presenting your findings for comments;
  6. Review Transport Canada comments and issue a final report and an executive summary in one official language;
  7. All deliverables are to be provided in electronic format.

1.1 Scope of Services

In the process of undertaking this task, JLR was provided with B&T's draft report dated September 19, 2013. We participated in a video conference call and telephone calls on August 26, 2013 and August 27, 2013, and attended two meetings in the Longueuil offices of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridge Incorporated (JCCBI) with Transport Canada and B&T in attendance on September 3 and 24, 2013.

The comments and conclusions provided herein are focused solely on the final draft report provided by B&T, dated September 19, 2013 and our participation in the meeting conducted at the offices of JCCBI on September 24, 2013.

2.0 Discussion

JLR reviewed the B&T report dated September 19, 2013 and met with staff of B&T, JCCBI and Transport Canada on September 24, 2013 in the offices of JCCBI in Longueuil, Quebec.

The objective of the September 19, 2013 report was to describe, in clear and concise language, the level of safety of the approach span edge girders of the Champlain Bridge.

The methodology employed by B&T to reach this determination was based on the "Procedures for Evaluation of Bridge Structures" as described in Section 14 of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code (CHBDC).

Based on JLR's evaluation, it is concluded that:

  1. The B&T report provides a clear opinion as to the safety of the edge girders of the approach slabs.
  2. The report was prepared in consideration of the appropriate sections of the CHBDC.
  3. B&T has placed a high level of rigour in their review of the report in its preparation.
  4. B&T is a qualified consulting engineering firm to undertake this assignment.

Based on the above, it is JLR's conclusion that the report has been undertaken with the standard of care to be expected by engineers providing services for a structure of this scale and importance.

It is noted that JLR has expressed the above-noted opinion as it pertains to the process for the development of the Champlain Bridge report. JLR was not retained to undertake an independent analysis of the numerical calculations found in the report and, as such, has no opinion on this aspect of the report.

Prepared by:

J. L Richards & Associates Limited

John R. Elliot, P.Eng.
Director, Chief Structural Engineer

Renée Lambert, ing., P.Eng.
Associate, Senior Structural Engineer

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