• Carmen Marie Fabio

MTQ discusses Île aux Tourtes bridge with community representatives


YLJ FILE PHOTO/CARMEN MARIE FABIO

The fate of the Île aux Tourtes bridge, seen here in the distance, is yet to be decided by the Ministère des Transports du Québec but officials said despite the recent discovery of a crack, the structure is safe.

A December 15 information session between the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) and representatives of surrounding communities on the topic of the Île aux Tourtes Bridge, while closed to media, reportedly addressed concerns of both West Island and off-island communities in the structure’s immediate vicinity.

“It’s more of a working meeting,” said MTQ spokesperson Mario St-Pierre. “The MTQ is listening to the concerns of the elected officials in the region rather than informing them of specific information, but for sure, we’ll be discussing the future of the bridge.”

The bridge, opened in 1966, is the second longest in Quebec and spans the Lake of Two Mountains between the Island of Montreal and Vaudreuil-Dorion and is just four years younger than the beleaguered Champlain Bridge connecting Montreal to the south shore.

Following a scheduled MTQ inspection of the bridge September 28, a crack was found in the eastbound lane. “The condition of the bridge had degraded and the MTQ took the decision to lighten the load on a portion of the bridge beginning December 4,” St-Pierre said. The speed limit on the eastbound side has also been reduced from 100 km to 70 km/hr.

St-Pierre said dealing with the crack had become a priority and the MTQ engineers took the steps to reduce the weight on the outermost lane. “We don’t yet have the schedule yet but it will be repaired.”

When asked about the possibility of replacing the bridge, St-Pierre said the MTQ is considering the options. “We don’t know if we’ll do a reconstruction or extensive repairs. We’re in the process of studying the situation. In the meantime, we’ll be carrying out the necessary maintenance. The bridge is safe for traffic.”

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