The owner of Canada’s Champlain Bridge is adjusting its maintenance plans in the light of three new reports studying the condition of the deteriorating structure.
Jacques Cartier & Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) has published the 2014 annual inspection report and two linear analyses of a typical Champlain Bridge girder.
Canada’s busiest bridge is being replaced by a new crossing of the St Lawrence but meanwhile requires extensive maintenance. This year, JCCBI has planned US$97 million of work on the Champlain Bridge. Use of salt to de-ice the bridge over the course of its life is seen as one of the main factors that have contributed to its deterioration.
Armed with the new data on the Champlain Bridge, the corporation is continuing a programme of exceptional measures to monitor the structure and ensure safe passage. These include design and installation of modular trusses to support the edge girders, instrumentation of all 100 edge girders to monitor the structure’s behavior in real time and the addition of carbon fibre reinforcement. A programme to repair piers, girders, slabs and deck joints will also continue.
The structure’s condition had previously led JCCBI to increase the frequency of detailed inspections from once every four years to once a year. The latest annual inspection was carried out by Dessau Cima+ in autumn 2014. Once JCCBI received the preliminary inspection report, its engineering and planning teams analysed the findings and adjusted the major maintenance programme accordingly.
“It’s critical for our Corporation to have access to a variety of tools to increase our knowledge of the structure, prioritise our actions, and deploy our resources efficiently and effectively,” said JCCBI CEO Glen Carlin. “User safety is central to all our actions. Based on these reports, we will make any necessary adjustments to our bridge reinforcement and maintenance programme, while continuing our analyses to better guide our actions.”
The reports are available online at JCCBI.ca (link opens in new tab).