Mercier Bridge construction begins (and it’s on Twitter!)

Mercier Bridge

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 rusted Mercier Bridge is in dire need of replacement

The rusted Mercier Bridge is in dire need of replacement

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.


6 thoughts on “Mercier Bridge construction begins (and it’s on Twitter!)

  1. Jean Naimard

    It’s not really a first, per se. Some years ago, the Jacques-Cartier bridge roadway was replaced in prefabricated sections. The impressive thing there is that each section was built to impressive tolerances so it would fit, the idea being to replace one per night.

  2. JulieBob

    Yes, my point exactly, this was the same idea used for the replacement of the decks/road surface for the Pont Jacques Cartier.

    Also, like the PJC, the Mercier will have a new (modern) bike sidewalk to replace it’s (mercier’s) death-defying bike sidewalk. We can hardly wait!

    Ultimately this bridge’s bike path will link to the bike path at Ecluse St-Catherine (the highly excellent “voie maritime” riverside and car/civilization-free bike path). This will create the greatest bike ride loop in Montreal.

  3. Bryan

    You know, that’s all I ever ask for. Information. Presented in a timely, clear and user friendly manner. I personally won’t have to suffer from the Mercier construction project but I can imagine that those who will, will at least know what’s in store. Because nothing in worse than sitting in traffic that you could have avoided with a little foreknowledge.

    That traffic light temporary entrance looks like a potential nightmare. Hope they have traffic cops on standby to help out.

    (Steve… do you know why they haven’t opened that brand new off ramp to de Maissoneuve from Decarie southbound?)

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Probably for the simple reason that it doesn’t lead anywhere yet. It’s designed to serve the new superhospital, and will eventually allow traffic to head eastbound, but that’s still in the works.


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