The worst structures in Quebec: several mayors worried about the decay of bridges

Les pires structures du Québec: plusieurs maires inquiets de la décrépitude des ponts

Philippe Langlois

Private foreign travel because of the pandemic of COVID-19, Quebecers are preparing to criss-cross Quebec during the holidays. Our Office of investigation presents you with a folder special, which shows the worst bridges in the province. Rust, cracks and falling concrete ; all of these structures are still considered safe by the ministry of Transport, but they will need to be replaced in the short term.


XX combined Index (ICS)

The combined index, included between 0 and 100, gives a good idea of the general condition of the bridge. It is composed of three indices, or the seismic vulnerability, the state of the structure and its ability to play its role. The lower the index, the more the bridge is vulnerable.

XX Index of material of the structure (IMS)

It allows to follow the evolution of the state of the materials of the bridge. Defects such as the disintegration of the concrete, steel corrosion or wood decay, shall be taken into consideration. The results are expressed on a scale of 0 to 100. The number 100 corresponds to the best condition.

The awful bridge of Dorval

Edgar Rouleau, mayor of Dorval, deplores the disuse of the viaduct patched up the highway 520 to Dorval, on 55th Avenue.

“If your coffee cup is full, you risk to have on your pants. “

The mayor of the municipality of Dorval, Edgar Rouleau, does not lace to describe the bridge in disrepair is located on highway 520 over the 55th Avenue, Dorval.

“It gives a kick. But we are quite used to it. We know now, ” laughs the mayor to illustrate a passage in the car on the bridge.

“This is a file that follows with the MTQ for the past four or five years,” says-t it.

Quebec has even had to install support beams under the totality of the structure to avoid a collapse. As a result, only one lane of 55th Avenue is accessible under the viaduct.

The bridge of the A520 above the 55th Avenue in Dorval, is so bad that the MTQ has had to install étayages to support the structure pending its replacement.

“The big disadvantage, it is really up to the industries and businesses that are on each side of the road 520. At the beginning, the MTQ had put it one way , “says Mr. Roller.

Two years ago, the City has decided to take action and install an automatic fire and timed that allows an alternation between the two paths.

“It allows trucks and the people who work in the end to still pass “, said the mayor.

The fact remains that the industries and traders are starting to get impatient.

“At the same time, it was not safe, the MTQ, the shut up,” says the mayor.

The MTQ has indicated to the municipality that the work should start by 2021.

Where : A520 above the 55e Avenue

Construction : 1966

Daily flow : 34 000 vehicles

54,6 | 31,1

State : Limitation of costs through the removal of roads, structures requiring replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete.

Three years of waiting to Rosemere

Eric Westram, mayor of Rosemère, in front of the bridge on route 117 where it prohibits certain heavy vehicles to pass in the meantime to replace it.

A bridge located on route 117 at the top of the north arm of the river of the Thousand Islands, Rosemere, will still have to wait three years before being rebuilt despite the advanced degradation of its structure.

“In 2018, there are analyses that have been made. Since then, the MTQ has put a limitation on the expenses for maintaining the functionality of the structure. It prevents some of the heavy weight of the cross, ” says the mayor of Rosemère, Eric Westram.

The MTQ has promised to replace the book by a prefabricated bridge. Such a method of construction should accelerate the progress of the construction on the ground, but this will not be before 2023.

In this case, Mr Westram trusted the expertise of the MTQ.

“I’m not an engineer. I leave it up to the MTQ, who have competent people, ” he said. If I learn that it is not safe, I will not ask the MTQ, I’ll end up closing tomorrow. We will not put people’s lives in danger. “

Mr. Westram says that the MTQ ” does not work at optimal speed “, but it dares to believe that the elastic has not been stretched too much in this folder.

“It is a ministry with which it is sometimes difficult to get answers “, he adds.

One thing is certain, the new bridge should have a bike path, a project valuable to the mayor.

“It will enable citizens to cross the Sainte-Thérèse and continue like this up in Montreal. We talked about the cycle track since 2013. ”

Where : Route 117 at the top of the Mille-Iles river

Construction : 1947

Daily flow : 24 000 vehicles

67,4 | 17,2

State : Limitation of costs through the removal of roads, structures requiring replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete. Cracking of the concrete.

To replace it as soon as possible Quebec

The bridge, which is located on the chemin des quatre-Bourgeois above autoroute 73 in Quebec city, is the 13th worst in Quebec, according to the score assigned by the MTQ. More than 13,000 motorists and truck drivers travel on a daily basis, without counting the thousands of others who must pass under the structure by autoroute Henri-IV at the head of bridges.

This bridge is affected by the alkali-silica reaction (RAS). It is a phenomenon that leads to the swelling and cracking of the concrete as well as a decrease of its mechanical properties. The MTQ had to install the fence on the outer side as well as on the slab of the central span. Precisely, according to the latest inspection report to 2017, the mechanical properties of the concrete of this structure are low. At the time, engineers felt that it had to be rebuilt completely before the end of 2021.

Location : Chemin des quatre-Bourgeois above the A73

Construction : 1962

Daily flow : 13 000 vehicles

42,2 | a 15.9

State : Structure with deficiencies, requiring a replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete.

Important bridge to rebuild

The pont Gédéon-Ouimet, located on highway 15 at the top of the Mille-Iles river, between Laval and Boisbriand, is one of the highway bridges are the busiest in Quebec.

This structure of more than one kilometre will soon be the subject of a major project.

The last general inspection, dated October 2019, has reported the infiltration of water, holes in the pavement, snapping and vertical cracks of loose bolts, lots of corrosion, defects of the coating, and even a significant reduction of the capacity to support locations.

Where : A15 over the river of the Thousand Islands

Construction : 1958

Daily flow : 138 000 vehicles

75 | 64,7

State : Structure with deficiencies, requiring a replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete.

Under high surveillance in Laval

The qualifiers used in the inspection reports of the MTQ to describe the bridge on route 117 at the top of highway 15 in Laval, are many.

“Repair bad “, ” disaggregations medium to large “, ” failure of materials that may reduce its capacity to withstand loads significantly “, ” rot “, ” corrosion “, “loss of materials and accumulation of debris,” can it be read.

The administration of mayor Marc Demers has not wanted to comment on the record, simply saying, by the voice of the special advisor to the mayor, that it watches the folder.

“I confirm to you that we are in close and regular contact with the MTQ regarding the status of all facilities under his jurisdiction located on the territory of Laval,” said Robert-Charles Longpré.

Where : Route 117 at the top of the Mille-Iles river

Construction : 1959

Daily flow : 22 180 vehicles

70 | 28,4

State : Structure with deficiencies, requiring a replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete. Cracking of the concrete.

Many cracks on the Ville-Marie expressway

Very busy, the bridge of the autoroute Ville-Marie at the top of the avenue Atwater, Westmount, requires replacement. The temporary works have been carried out in 2017, and the bridge is still under observation, mainly because there is a risk of falling of fragments of concrete. The last general inspection showed many cracks, delamination affecting significantly its capacity and the bursting of concrete which reveals the frame.

Where : A720 at the top of the avenue Atwater

Construction : 1972

Daily flow : 55 000 vehicles

75,6 | 72,5

State : Structure with deficiencies, requiring a replacement. Risk of falling of fragments of concrete.

The 10 worst bridges

(1000 passages, and more per day)


Road Kelly

38 | 19

Construction : 1923

Daily flow : 1400

Trucks : 10 % of the traffic


Route 159

40 | 9

Construction : 1922

Daily flow : 1450

Trucks : 11 %


Chemin des quatre-Bourgeois

42 | 16

Construction : 1962

Daily flow : 13 000

Trucks : 4 % of the traffic

La Pocatière

Route 132

43 | 33

Construction : 1950

Daily flow : 2320

Trucks : 5 % of the traffic


Pont des Bois-Francs

Boulevard des Bois-Francs South

47 | 6

Construction : 1956

Daily flow : 9002

Trucks : 7 % of the traffic


Rue des Côteaux

47 | 21

Construction : 1970

Daily flow : 1060

Trucks : 0 % of traffic


Honoré-Mercier Bridge

Route 138, in the direction of Châteauguay

48 | 17

Construction : 1933

Daily flow : 71 000

Trucks : 6 % of the traffic


Route 223

48 | 26

Construction : 1958

Daily flow : 2430

Trucks : 8 % of the traffic


Route 342

48 | 24

Construction : 1929

Daily flow : 7700

Trucks : 7 % of the traffic


Rang Saint-Étienne

49 | 20

Construction : 1953

Daily flow : 3600

Trucks : 8 % of the traffic

What is the state of the bridge of your region ?

Our interactive map shows more than 2000 structures throughout the province. Learn more about their condition and check out the inspection reports.

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