Get your overpasses straight

Well, the Quebec government has started inspections on those 135 structures it says are “at-risk”. And of the 20 they’ve inspected so far, nine require major repairs or complete replacements.

Now here I was all eager to update my map of crumbling Quebec overpasses and bridges using this CBC Montreal story. It lists two bridges that will be replaced and eight more that will need major repairs. (Yeah, I know that adds up to 10 and not 9, but journalists don’t do math.)

It didn’t take long before I started having doubts about the list.

First of all, I can’t find out where they got it. The transport ministry’s website doesn’t have it in any of the documents related to their inspections of the first 20 structures, and no other news organization has any specific list of structures.

Secondly, their descriptions are vague. One of the overpasses needing “major repair” is “Highway 10 overpass in Marieville.” That’s great and all, but there are four overpasses on Highway 10 in Marieville on the list of 135 structures under review.

Finally, some of it is just plain wrong. One of the two listed for demolition is “Route 104 overpass in Franklin, Montérégie.” But Route 104 doesn’t go anywhere near Franklin. The western tip of Route 104 (in St. Jean sur Richelieu) is 59km away from the town. It was probably just a typo (there’s a Route 202 overpass in Franklin on the list), but it’s kind of important to get these things right, and without any other sources to back this already-faulty information up, I can’t use it. (UPDATE: LCN uses the same faulty description, so I guess it must be the transport department that got it wrong)

And that makes me cranky.

On the plus side, I found this proprietary (read: sucky) Google-Maps-style atlas of the 135 structures under inspection. Sadly, it doesn’t give any information about the status of the evaluations of the individual structures. But I’ll use it to pinpoint the location of some of the bridges I couldn’t map exactly.

And I’ve updated the list of City of Montreal-run overpasses which needed inspection to show most of them have reopened to heavy trucks.

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