Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, has announced a new accelerated timeline for the construction of the new bridge for the St. Lawrence.
Minister Lebel said:
We will deliver the new bridge for the St. Lawrence in 2018, three years earlier than originally planned, in fact, concrete actions to move the project ahead have already been taken.
ARUP Canada Inc. was awarded the contract for engineering and coordination services on October 18, 2013. The company has accelerated the original timeline significantly, enabling the procurement process for the public-private partnership (PPP) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new bridge.
The accelerated timeline responds to the recommendations of the Buckland & Taylor report, prepared for the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) as part of the Champlain Bridge surveillance and maintenance program.
Minister Lebel continued:
"While we cannot cut corners with infrastructure of such great importance for the metropolis and the economy of our country, we can certainly accelerate the process. No effort will be spared to deliver this project on time and within budget, keeping travellers and goods moving safely and efficiently through this important trade and transportation corridor."
According to the Lebel's office, the project is slated to be launched in early sprint 2014.
This bridge is one of the busiest in Canada, with $20 billion worth of international trade crossing it every year. The Champlain Bridge is a crucial corridor for the regional economy and for Canada as a whole.