Feds to acquire Quebec Bridge, commit $1 billion over 25 years on repairs

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CaDCR staff writer

The Government of Canada will repatriate a Quebec bridge from the Canadian National Railway (CN) and spend $40 million per year for the next 25 years to rehabilitation the structure.

Work will extend the bridge’s life for decades, by increasing the frequency at which parts are replaced. Funding will also cover painting and aesthetics of this historic infrastructure.

“The Québec Bridge is a source of pride for the people of Quebec City and all Canadians. It is a timeless symbol of what is possible when we work hard together, and today’s repatriation agreement with CN will ensure that it is protected and restored for future generations,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A major road, rail, and pedestrian bridge linking the shores of Quebec City and Lévis, Quebec, the bridge was built in 1917, and is considered one of Canada’s “architectural gems”, recognized as a symbol of engineering excellence. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1995.

“The Québec Bridge is a feat of civil and architectural engineering in our country. By repatriating the bridge, we will not only ensure the sustainability of this critical and major infrastructure for the region, but we are also giving control back to the people of Québec,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of public services and procurement.

The Québec Bridge was designed and built by the St. Lawrence Bridge Company of Montréal, Quebec, in 1917. Made of nickel alloy steel, it was the longest clear span bridge in the world at the time of its construction. It was officially inaugurated by the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VIII – in 1919.

Initially designed as a rail bridge, the Québec Bridge now also includes three highway lanes and a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. It remains the longest span cantilever bridge ever built, stretching 549 metres between the main piers, with a total length of 987 metres and a height of 95 metres.

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