The bridge has been out of service since June 2019, 57 years after its inauguration.
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated explained the operation will require a new deconstruction method, which will be carried out by using specialized excavators on barges measuring 210 feet by 144 feet. They will be used as a work surface to remove concrete debris and bring it to the Nuns’ Island wharf.
The structures will be taken apart from top to bottom using hydraulic hammers on the excavators. The barges will be grouped together so the debris can be recovered and then recycled without impacting the environment.
To remove the footings, two barges will confine them and excavators with GPS systems will extract them from below the bed of the St. Lawrence River.
The operation will then be repeated for the 34 footings.
Once deconstruction is complete, the empty spaces left by the footings in the seabed will be refilled with a stone backfill.
The removal of the spans on the original Champlain Bridge began some time ago — at the end of last month, JCCBI announced a dozen had already been removed thanks to a custom-built mega barge capable of supporting up to 4,800 tons.
The bridge has been out of service since June 28, 2019, 57 years after its inauguration.
In the summer of 2020, JCCBI announced deconstruction work would continue until winter 2024 with a total price tag of $400 million.