Starting next Monday, what’s been described as a “first in this country” construction project will be undertaken on the Honoré-Mercier Bridge. It involves 1,300 prefabricated concrete panels which will replace the bridge deck in a way that is designed to minimize traffic disruption.
In other words, they’re going to replace a bridge without closing it to traffic.
It’s not quite so simple (there will be night work that requires rerouting traffic), but it’s still pretty impressive.
The first stage starts on Monday, when the ramp for the 138 East (from Châteauguay) is closed and replaced. Traffic will be sent along a side road to the other approach on the 132. The other three ramps on the southern side will be replaced one by one, and then work will begin on the bridge itself.
What’s impressive about this operation to me though isn’t the construction, but the communications. A (fully bilingual) special WordPress-based website has been setup (complete with RSS feed and question-and-answer forum), and there are Flickr, YouTube and Twitter accounts to make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on and can share information easily. Unlike what you see with most marketing campaigns, these tools are used quite effectively.
This YouTube video shows the steps that will be taken over the coming weeks to replace the southern access ramps. It’s long, but it’s clear.