Pont Honoré-Mercier, which was named after a former Québec premier, spans the St. Lawrence River and Seaway between LaSalle on the Island of Montréal and the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake on the south shore.
The bridge, located in the axis of route 138, is composed of two structures:
The upstream structure, which allows westbound traffic (towards the south shore), was built in the early 1930’s;
The downstream structure, eastbound (towards Montréal), was built in the 1960’s.
The bridge is under both provincial and federal jurisdictions.
Chronology of Events: Shared Jurisdictions and Bridge Rehabilitation Work
Pont Honoré-Mercier is divided into six sections, and responsibility for the bridge is shared between the ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) and The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI).
Parts under provincial jurisdiction (MTQ):
route 138 westbound (towards the south shore) over the St. Lawrence River (upstream bridge)
route 138 eastbound (towards Montréal), over the St. Lawrence River (downstream bridge)
Parts under federal jurisdiction (JCCBI):
route 138 eastbound and westbound, over the St. Lawrence Seaway (both directions)
route 138 westbound, access ramp towards Châteauguay
route 138 eastbound, towards Montréal, access ramp from Châteauguay
route 132 eastbound and westbound, access ramp from or towards La Prairie
In 1932, Dominion Bridge began the construction of the imposing steel structure of pont Honoré-Mercier. The structure, designed by 11 French-Canadian engineers from École Polytechnique de Montréal, was finally inaugurated in 1934. At that time, the bridge was the property of Corporation du Pont du Lac Saint-Louis (federal government). Traffic was in one lane in each direction on the structure which corresponds to the current upstream structure (westbound, towards the south shore).
Responsibility for the structure is transferred, in 1942, to the gouvernement du Québec.
Following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the extension of the structure of pont Honoré-Mercier to cross the Seaway (1958-1959), the federal and the provincial governments reached an agreement to share jurisdiction. New access ramps to pont Honoré-Mercier were also built in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake.
To meet traffic needs, the federal portion of the bridge was broadened and the downstream structure, which was under provincial jurisdiction, was annexed to it (1962-1963). As of that time, two lanes are made available in each direction.
Federal portion of the bridge located in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake at the south approaches to the bridge.
Reinforcement of the steel structure of the bridge.
Complete replacement of the reinforced concrete decks of the three access ramps located in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake.
Federal portion of the bridge located between the south access ramps covered by Contract A and the metallic arch over the St. Lawrence River, as well as a major part of the provincial portion of the bridge, north of the metallic arch.
Complete replacement of the bridge deck.
In the early 2000’s a list was made of the interventions to be carried out to maintain the structure. The work provider for the rehabilitation work of pont Honoré-Mercier is the federal corporation Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc. (JCCBI). Divided in two contracts (A and B), this project is the most important rehabilitation work project ever undertaken in Canada.
In 2007, a tripartite agreement was signed between JCCBI, the ministère des Transports de Québec (MTQ) and the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK). Contract A, for rehabilitation work on pont Honoré-Mercier, was awarded to the Mohawk Bridge Consortium in 2008. Work commenced in 2009.
Contract B was awarded in 2010 to consortium Pomerleau, Demathieu et Bard S.E.N.C. Work commenced in 2011. However, in 2012, the ministère des Transports decided to remove the provincial part of Contract B, because the initial concept for the replacement of the bridge deck of the upstream structure needed to be reviewed from a technical and administrative point of view. In April 2013, the Ministère therefore awarded a design contract to the SNC-Lavalin/BPR/Genivar consortium to determine the work to be carried out on pont Honoré-Mercier. The purpose of the contract was also to determine work to be performed on the structure in the short-term. A contract to monitor work ensuing from the design contract was also awarded, in 2013, to the CIMA+/Dessau consortium.
What to Expect on Pont Honoré-Mercier in 2014
Rehabilitation work for maintaining the structure continue and occasionally require the upstream structure to be closed for the duration of the intervention. For information on current traffic hindrance on pont Honoré-Mercier, consult Québec 511.
The opportunity study that is part of the design contract to determine the work to be carried out on pont Honoré-Mercier is conducted concurrently.
A lot of work still needs to be carried out on pont Honoré-Mercier over the next few years. The Ministère is aware of the impact road closures can have on traffic and thanks users for their understanding.
The ministère des Transports assures that the structure remains safe.
To have a better idea of the work scheduled to be carried out on the federal portion of the bridge, you are invited to visit the blog of The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated.
The Ministère will do its best to integrate its work to repair the structural elements with JCCBI’s, in order to mitigate the impacts on traffic.