Samuel De Champlain Bridge - Frequently Asked Questions

Scope of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge Corridor project

What is the scope of the project?

The main components of the project include the Samuel De Champlain Bridge, including the Autoroute 10 approach; a new île-des-Soeurs Bridge, in addition to the highway on île-des-Soeurs; and reconstruction and widening of the federal portion of Autoroute 15.

More information on project scope

What is not included in the scope of the project?

The private partner will not be responsible for the deconstruction of the existing Champlain Bridge or the Ice Control Structure (the Estacade).

Will public transit be integrated into the corridor project?

The project includes a dedicated two-lane transit corridor capable of accommodating a light rail transit system.

As public transit falls under provincial jurisdiction, the Government of Canada worked with Quebec to integrate transit onto the new bridge.

What will happen to the existing Champlain bridge?

The demolition of the existing Champlain Bridge will proceed once the Samuel De Champlain Bridge has been built.

Did the Government of Canada expropriate homes to make way for this project?

To allow for the construction of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge Corridor, the Government of Canada had to acquire 14 residential (9 single-family dwellings, 1 triplex and 1 building comprised of 4 condos), commercial and public properties. All the residential properties were acquired through mutual agreements, and not expropriation. Everyone affected have found new homes and the properties, located on Rue May in Verdun, were demolished in November 2015 to allow for work to begin on the widening of autoroute 15.

Project costs

How much will the corridor project cost and how will you pay for it?

On June 19, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that the total cost of the project would be $4.239 billion.

From this amount, the project agreement between the Government of Canada and the Signature on the St. Lawrence Group, valued at $3.977 billion, covers the construction period, which will end in fall 2019, as well as a 30-year operation period.

The project agreement includes the design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the corridor, which includes the Samuel De Champlain Bridge, the new île-des-Sœurs Bridge and the reconstruction and widening of the federal portion of Highway 15.

Visit the Project Agreement Section for more information on the cost breakdown.

Will the removal of tolls increase the total cost of the project?

No. The cost of the project will not increase as a result of the government's decision not to charge a toll.

The government's contract with SSL never included toll revenue. The revenue generated by the toll would have been handed over to the Government of Canada.

Procurement process

What procurement model did the government use?

A public-private partnership (PPP) procurement model was used as it provides the best value for the project.

On April 15, 2015, the Government of Canada announced the selection of Signature on the Saint-Lawrence Group as the preferred proponent for the project and this decision was confirmed on June 19, 2015 with the finalization of the project agreement.

Visit the Project Agreement Section Section for more information on the procurement process.

Visit PPP Canada's website for more information about public-private partnerships.

How did you ensure integrity of the procurement process?

The Government of Canada implemented an open, fair and competitive and transparent contracting process based on a commercially accepted approach and Public Services and Procurement Canada's (PSPC) smart procurement principles.

In addition, all proponents were required to comply with PSPC's Integrity Regime.

Bridge design

What will the new bridge look like?

Thanks to an innovative and collaborative design process involving both the local and international design community, the Samuel De Champlain Bridge has a unique visual identity that:

  • contributes positively to its status as the primary gateway to Montréal,
  • reflects the community's unique characteristics, and;
  • ensures its integration into the existing landscape.

The new bridge has a three-corridor design, including two three-lane corridors for vehicular traffic and a two-lane transit corridor capable of accommodating a light rail transit system. The new bridge will also include a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Visit the architectural quality section to learn more about the process to determine the design of the bridge.

Visit our photo gallery to see pictures of the bridge design.

Quality control

What is the quality process done by Infrastructure Canada ?

SSL is responsible for implementing a compliance and quality process, for which the Government of Canada, the Owner's Engineer, the Owner's Laboratory and the Independent Engineer have oversight.

In addition, Infrastructure Canada, as well as the Independent Engineer, each have their own quality control mechanisms.

Infrastructure Canada, along with the Owner's Laboratory, the Owner's Engineer and the Independent Engineer perform their own inspections and audits of SSL's quality management system and may also raise issues of non-compliance.  

Regular meetings are held between quality representatives, SSL's design engineers, the Independent Engineer and Infrastructure Canada engineers to review all reports of non-compliance and determine the status of each of them. 

Through this process Infrastructure Canada and the Owner's Engineer are able to monitor SSL's response regarding all reported incidence of non-compliance to ensure that corrective action is taken and that the non‑compliance is fully resolved.

What is the role of the Owner’s Engineer?

The Owner's Engineer reports exclusively to the Government of Canada. Its role is to provide the Government of Canada with technical advice and ensure that the project complies with the Government of Canada's requirements.

The Owner's Engineer may do the following:

  • Provide technical advice and support with respect to environment requirements during the design, construction and first year of operation of the project;
  • Provide Infrastructure Canada with technical support and assistance in project management and coordination in order to help supervise the design and construction work of the private partner, as well as activities relating to the operation, maintenance and repair of the new corridor during the first year of operation;
  • Assist or represent Infrastructure Canada during consultations and meetings with stakeholders, including provincial and municipal authorities as well as private stakeholders;
  • Ensure the compliance, quality and impartiality of the work of the Independent Engineer, whose role is to ensure that the work of the private partner complies with the Government of Canada's requirements for this project. 

In February 2015, ARUP was named as the Owner's Engineer following an open, transparent, competitive and fair procurement process.

The contract covers a period of approximately seven years, with three option periods of one year each, for a total value of $20.4 million (taxes included).

Worker Safety

What is the Department doing to ensure the health and safety of workers on the new Champlain Bridge worksite?

The safety of workers is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Infrastructure Canada closely monitors the SSL prevention, health and safety program through bi-monthly meetings with SSL, where safety issues are discussed, and also through a monthly progress report on the worksite which provides statistics on all incidents and preventive actions.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Department maintains an open dialogue with its private partner SSL regarding prevention measures and the health and safety of the workers onsite.

It is important to remember that as the primary contractors on the worksite, SSL is responsible for the implementation of its prevention, health and safety program.


How will you make sure that the environment is protected during construction?

An environmental assessment was done and more than 200 environmental mitigation measures were identified. These mitigation measures are being implemented during construction of the project.

Visit the Your Environment section to learn more.

Could the Samuel De Champlain Bridge have been routed differently to avoid the LeBer archaeological site? How are you planning to preserve the site?

Infrastructure Canada examined options to avoid the LeBer archaeological site. In consultation with the City of Montreal, it was determined that the optimal route for the new bridge would have to pass over the LeBer site in order to maintain traffic flow on René-Lévesque Boulevard.

Infrastructure Canada did everything possible to preserve the site even before Signature on the St. Lawrence was selected, including burying and covering vestiges of the archaeological site with a protective material, and conducting an archaeological survey on the site. Following the archaeological survey, a portion of the foundation of the LeBer estate was removed from the site and given to the City of Montreal. In addition, all artifacts found during the survey have been returned to the City and may be exhibited so that people can learn more about the LeBer site and the history of Montreal during the French regime. A 3D survey of the site was also conducted and could be used for an interpretation of the LeBer farm.

Air Quality

Where are the monitoring stations located?

The Île-des-Soeurs station is located on private property near the Bell complex, between Pointe-Nord Boulevard and the ramp to Highway 10.

The Brossard station is located in Voltaire Park, immediately north of the ramp to Highway 10 East.

Why are the air quality sampling stations operated by Infrastructure Canada, rather than the private partner, Signature on the St. Lawrence Group?

Infrastructure Canada made the commitment to install an air quality monitoring station based on concerns raised by the public about air quality. The public requested that a new air quality sampling station be established on Île des Sœurs, in the centre of the new Champlain Bridge corridor. Infrastructure Canada followed through on this request from the public, and also installed a station in Brossard in collaboration with Environment Canada.

This monitoring is in addition to the air quality monitoring activities that the Signature on the St. Lawrence Group is undertaking on the worksite to ensure that it meets its obligations.

Who manages the stations and analyzes the data?

Consulair-Airparif, a company under contract with Infrastructure Canada, is responsible for operating the Île-des-Soeurs station and analyzing its data, for a minimum of six years. Environment Canada, which works in collaboration with Infrastructure Canada, is also involved in the quality control of data captured by this station.

Environment Canada is responsible for operating the Brossard station and analyzing its data. This station will be in place for the duration of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge construction work only.

The results show that ozone (O3) thresholds are often exceeded. Is this something that local residents should be concerned about? Are the elevated ozone levels a direct result of the construction on the new bridge?

Although ozone and the other gaseous pollutants are not part of the formal air quality monitoring program this data is being collected and monitored to assess the overall impact of the project on air quality and to inform analysis of air quality in the general region during post construction monitoring.

Work on the Samuel De Champlain Bridge construction site is not likely to have a marked impact on the local ozone levels; high concentrations of ozone (a major component of urban smog) can mainly be attribute to the high volume of motor vehicle traffic in the metropolitan area.

The results for ozone and other gaseous pollutants from the Île-des-Sœurs and Brossard stations can be expected to be similar to those recorded by other Montreal stations during the same time periods.

It should also be noted that the thresholds used at our monitoring stations are very aggressive, compared to thresholds routinely used for measuring ozone elsewhere in the country.

Facts about the existing Champlain Bridge

What is the importance of the Champlain Bridge corridor?

The Champlain Bridge was one of the busiest bridges in Canada. It is important for local residents and commuters. The bridge also allowed for $20 billion worth of Canada-United States trade per year.

Traffic and Trade, per year

All vehicles: Approximately 50 million
Buses: 200,000
Transit users: 11 million (on an average week day, 66% of users are commuters) 
International trade: $20 billion

Who owns the existing Champlain Bridge?

The Champlain Bridge, as well as the federal portions of Autoroute 15 and the Bonaventure Expressway, were built by the National Harbours Board, a former federal institution. The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) is responsible for managing, operating and maintaining the Champlain Bridge and the Bonaventure expressway on behalf of the federal government. JCCBI is also responsible for the Champlain Bridge Ice Control Structure, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the federally owned portion of the Honoré-Mercier Bridge and the Melocheville Tunnel.

Why is the Champlain Bridge being replaced?

Built in 1962, the Champlain Bridge was not designed to handle today's high volume of traffic. The use of de-icing salt has also contributed to corrosion and the degradation of concrete.

While current investments kept the Champlain Bridge safe until it was replaced, a new crossing was required for the long term.

Several studies and reports were used to make the decision to build a new bridge.

In particular, the Pre-feasibility Study Concerning the Replacement of the Existing Champlain Bridge provided advice and information on whether replacing the bridge was the best option. The study examined bridge and tunnel options, and evaluated transportation needs, traffic demands, environmental aspects, implementation modes and financial considerations.

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