December 8, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge |  A new crack forces a lane to close indefinitely

Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge | A new crack forces a lane to close indefinitely

Bad news for users of the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge: a new crack has been discovered, forcing the closure of one lane toward Montreal indefinitely.

The transport ministry announced on Friday evening that the one-way to two-way structure, already in place over the weekend, will be maintained on Monday to carry out analyses.

“These will determine whether further interventions are required. At present, it cannot be ruled out that other traffic lanes will be closed,” the statement said.

The crack on the Montreal-facing side was done as part of routine monitoring at a time when the ministry said it was “particularly vigilant” because of the first episodes of frost.

Interventions to strengthen the bridge, described as “at the end of its life” and linking Cheneyville and Vaudreuil-Dorion, were scheduled for the end of this week.

The ministry notes that the system is “safe” and will not hesitate to shut it down if it is no longer so.

Maintenance plan

The Île-aux-Tourtes bridge is undergoing a maintenance program that includes work and inspections until its replacement is officially opened.

But Transport Minister Genevieve noted that “progressive” work on the new bridge, to be built north of the existing infrastructure, would begin in 2026 and be completed by 2029. Guilbault, a in a press release last February1.

The news that one lane of the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge will be closed indefinitely is a severe blow to its users who have already endured this situation in the past.

Indeed, in the fall of 2022, a year after the infrastructure was urgently closed due to damaged reinforcing rods, the Ministry of Transport noted the “advancement of some cracks” in a box girder on the north side of the bridge, towards Vaudreuil. -Dorian.

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A major project was then launched, forcing the closure of two lanes, including one, for the safety of workers and flaggers. This last line was re-opened last September2.