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A State-of-the-art Bridge

A bridge pillar under construction with a rowboat in the foreground

The first step consists of building the pillars, 1964.
Quebec Transport Ministry Archives

The bridge between Charron Island and the south shore is a work of unmatched genius. This bridge is one of the first in North America to be equipped with an orthotropic deck of prestressed concrete slabs connected to the longitudinal girders and cross-sectional pillars. Every span is made up of eight prefabricated prestressed concrete girders, installed one by one in a metal frame with a maintenance ramp.

Steel girders installed on the pillars of a bridge with trucks in the background

Installation of the concrete girders using a bridge crane, 1965.
Quebec Transport Ministry Archives

The orthotropic deck redistributes the weight of the vehicles evenly throughout the structure instead of focusing it on specific spots like on traditional bridges. Although costlier, this solution extends the overall life of the bridge. Of all the bridges over the Saint Lawrence River, this one is the least problematic..

Construction workers on a steel structure

Workers assemble the deck, 1965.
Quebec Transport Ministry Archives