Friday, June 29, 2018

Champlain Bridges over St. Lawrence River at Montreal, QC

(3D Satellite)

(Update: more photos of the construction of the new bridge)

By Fxp42 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
3D Satellite, 1962 Bridge
To summarize some articles, they planed to spend $212 million to rehabilitate the bridge. But evidently as they dug deeper into what needed to be fixed, they decided to build a $5 billion replacement bridge. [2009, July 2011, Oct 2011] A more recent figure I saw about the cost of the new bridge is "only" $4,435 million. So another cantilever truss bridge is being replaced by a cable-stay bridge.

Presentation, cropped
New Champlain Day – Artist Rendition – Infrastructure Canada from mtltimes

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TurtleStrangulation, lots of interesting links in the comments
Construxction of Montreal's New Champlain Bridge
[the middle lanes of traffic are dedicated to public transport vehicles including a light metro line.]
I became aware of this project when Danny Fortier posted two photos with the comment: "M1200T ringer and ringer 900 T at Champlain Bridge." He must be working up on the cable stay pylon.
Andre MylocoposAndre and 111 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Clarification: the black boom one is a 900 US ton and the blue boom is a 1433 US ton unit, one of only 3 built.

Screenshot @ -0:12 from Danny Fortier posting
Andre MylocoposAndre and 111 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! 4 MLC650 VPC Max units on site in addition to the two M-1200 ringers

A challenging 42-month timeline has been established for construction of the new bridge....
To meet the challenging timeline, the decision was made to maximize the prefabrication of concrete and steel parts and assemble some on site and some off-site. For this purpose, a total of five jetties (three for the new Champlain Bridge and two for the new Île-des-Sœurs bridge) will be created during the preparatory phase of work (June to November 2015). They will also allow for dry construction of various parts of the bridge and serve as docks for mooring the many vessels to be used on the Saint Lawrence River. [Engineering]

The problem with prefabricating parts off-site is that they must be built with precision. Modern computer CAD-CAM design should make it easy for different crews to work from the same plans. Shipbuilders proved during World War II that this technique can be made to work because the Liberty ships were built as a set of modules that were lifted into place at a dock for final assembly. All big ships are not built using prefabbed modules. But prefabricating also introduces lots of possibilities that things won't fit when you try to assemble them. By Dec 4, 2017, the contractors had already encountered over 2000 problems that had to be repaired.
“That there are so many problems and that we spend so much time at the site repairing all this, no, it’s really not normal,” an engineer involved in the site, who requested anonymity, was quoted as saying.

The main problems detected were in six areas:
– HOLES BADLY MADE AND MISALIGNED: Some holes are not well positioned in parts that need to be bolted to each other, thus preventing their alignment. Other holes are poorly made and required new drilling.
– POROUS STEEL: Some steel plates from Tecade used in the ‘caissons’ (watertight retaining structures used to work on the foundations of the bridge pier) show signs of porosity. The metal contains bubbles that can compromise its strength. – CRACKED STEEL: They ‘discovered cracks that cross the entire plate in over a dozen locations next to the connection holes’, an engineer report from GHD said, who inspected the repairs made to the Tecade caissons.
– DEFECTIVE SCREWS AND BOLTS: Complete boxes of bolts and nuts arrived from Spain with important defects. Several did not have the dimensions required on the plans.
– INCOMPLETE WELDS: Teams of workers had to repair many defects in metal work especially incomplete welds.
– MISSING CONCRETE: The pillars of the bridge are composed of huge blocks. One of them was blown up because of a defect in the concrete used. The workers also had to add concrete in the spacer, a huge piece that must link the two pillars of the main pylon. The piece arrived with holes revealing the metal frame.
Another article [GlobalNews-defects] mentioned bad parts from Spain. I confirmed that Tecade is in Span at their headquarters and Seville.

What is it about Canadian bridge building that they can't get something as fundamental as bolt size correct? The Nipigon River Bridge used bolts that were too long.

There are articles (Feb 23, April 13, June 27) about meeting the December 21, 2018 deadline for opening the bridge. The date had already been moved from Dec 1 to Dec 21. And officials have reserved $10 million to keep the old bridge open until June 2019. The consortium was saying that they will meet the deadline. But after a 9-day strike by the crane operators, they are now saying they are striving to meet the deadline.The strike was by thousands of operators across Quebec, and it was considered illegal. [GlobalNews-strike]
"Officials heading the consortium, led by SNC-Lavalin, insist they’re still striving to meet the deadline, but admit they do need to reassess....The consortium will face a fine of $100,000/day for the first seven days the bridge is late, and $400,000/day after the first week." [June 27] Maybe they should charge the crane union for 9 days of delay.

Another major issue causing delays and cost overruns is that the size of the preassembled parts was based on the old bridge's load restrictions. But after construction started, the government reduced the load restrictions for the old bridge. The government agreed to add $235m to the $4.2b price tag and the 20 additional days to compensate for the increased delay and cost of transporting the parts for the bridge. "Upon completion of the project, the consortium will maintain and operate the new bridge for 30 years." [April 13] So at least the consortium will have to deal with any problems caused by them cutting corners to meet the deadline.

I lost track of how many workers have been added to the project to try to meet the deadline. And that was before the 9-day strike.

Alex Caron posted three photos with the comment: "Construction of new Champlain bridge in Montreal. Manitowocs as far as the eye can see!! Some 16000 , MLC650's, and Grove's visible in the picture."
Charles Klinger Great design on the peirs !
Donnavan Kelley They look cool! But there a pain to build!
Ben StalveyBen and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts. Great shots several MLC 650 on this job.
Jim Browne And 2 of the only 4 2250 Ringer's ever built. I think a 900 ton and 1433 ton version?
[Crane rental alone would be a significant expense.]



Maxime Launier posted
M1200 ringer with boom 72. Champlain Bridge Project in Montreal.
Maxime Launier 9474-A 278’ of boom. 1,553,800lbs at 75ft but more impressive is 150,800lbs at 275’ radius. Keep in mind this is a barge chart and the crane is not max counterweight.Francis Letecia Reyna Pawelek Might need it in Corpus Christi harbor bridge soon 
Gonna be 178 feet hi I believe
[The block alone being twice as tall as the men puts in perspective how big this thing is.]
Keven Tremblay commented on a posting
Keven Tremblay commented on a posting
Ben Stalvey shared
Transport of a manitowoc crane for the champlain bridge. This is one of the 46 loads needed for this crane. Delivery is done just before the thaw period. // transport of a manitowoc crane for Champlain Bridge. This is one of 46 loads for this crane that is being delivered right now before thaw period.
Photo Credit: David Raymond
[It has a MLC650 label on it.]
If they did not make the Dec, 2018 deadline, they must have come close if they are selling and hauling away the MLC 650 cranes.

Anthony Lucibello posted two photos.
Maxime Launier This is from the Champlain Bridge Project in Montreal. This 650 has been sold to a company in the US which will pick it up shortly.
Anthony Lucibello Maxime Launier the other crane is a 650 as well right ?
Maxime Launier There are a couple of cranes left. There is another 650 with a luffer on the south shore.



[This link accesses a professional description of the project as an alternative to my babblings. They had to design for an ice load of 3 feet and do wind-tunnel studies of the cables that included ice in the wind. They used stainless steel for the rebar to meet the design goal of 125 years in a harsh climate. Of note is that the completion date is June 2019. I wonder when they gave up claiming Dec 2018. The cost is listed as $2.4b.]

[Note that with no load the counterweight tray has a small radius.]

Andre Mylocopos posted
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.3 w/luffer (there was a fourth as well)
MLC-300 on barge
16000 w/luffer behind 650

Dennis DeBruler It appears that they did not meet the Dec 2018 deadline that they were still promising last Summer to achieve.
Andre Mylocopos posted
M-1200 Ringer on barge
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.1
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.2
16000 top far left
14000 other side of the bridge
Jason NIkl What is the tower crane
Alex Benoit Jason NIkl comansa 21LC550,I m on it on the evening/night shift,it’s sitting at 620’ off the ground

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official photos and videos  I sure hope that link remains permanent

My collected crane photos and progress videos of the construction


  1. "Caissons" here refers not to a watertight structure permitting work on underwater piers, but rather these are box-section fabrications to be bolted together to form long-span bridge beams. There were thousands of these components. Box-beam in french is "poutre-caisson", hence the confusion.
    The piers for this bridge were all pre-cast onsite and then positioned in pre-excavated rock cuts using a Sarens floating gantry with 360° slewing strand jacks. A special SPMT by Dorman-Long carried the 900-ton piers to a dock where the gantry could pick them up for placement. The Manitowoc 1200 w/blue boom was purchased used and brought in from India, apparently. The 900-ton was purchased from Alberici Constructors in USA. The blue boom was not configured for it's max rating of 1433 tons; they left out some c/weights, one drum and the second Ringer engine. The 900-ton actually had more c/weight on the back; it was good for its max of 900t. Two MLC-650s were bought new, w/VPC-Max and luffer, along with 3 1600s and a bunch of Grove teles. All cranes were bought through Manitowoc and Strongco, including an ex-Bigge 1600 w/ suspended Maxer, a 2500, and another used 1600. Another MLC-650 from Lomma in N.J was added and a final 650 from Guay added also. Guay also had a 1600 with Maxer c/w wagon and luffer onsite. There were others: an MLC-300 with VPC-MAX, and another 2500, both on barges. The 1200-ton Liebherr all-terrain tele came on site for a while, as well as a few Liebherr 650t teles, off and on. It's been quite show. Now, only the last 650 with its luffer and one 1600 remain, everything else is gone. The 1433t M-1200 was sold even before it finished working and I think the 900t Ringer as well.

  2. Any reference to a "2500" should read as 2250...sorry, it's late and my brain is running down. The bridge is now self-standing and almost all the temporary support structures have been removed.
    Should be available for use by June...probably.