• John Jantak

Overpass demolished in Vaudreuil-Dorion


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The overnight demolition operation November 23 - 24 left Highway 40 closed for 14 hours. The new overpass is expected to be completed within the next two years.

The des Chenaux Bridge that spanned Highway 40 in Vaudreuil-Dorion is no more. A demolition team with heavy equipment spent the overnight hours between last Saturday night and Sunday morning on November 23-24 reducing the bridge into a pile of concrete and steel rubble.

Highway 40 was closed from between 8:30 p.m. Saturday night until 10 a.m. Sunday morning for the demolition. Traffic along Highway 40 was diverted onto Highway 20 between Exit 35 on St. Charles Avenue in Vaudreuil-Dorion and Exit 41 in Ste. Anne de Bellevue to allow the demolition to proceed unimpeded.

For Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon, the demolition is the long awaited first step to replace the structure that connects the northeastern and southeastern sectors of the city near the Chateau Vaudreuil Hotel.

Source of frustration

“The bridge was supposed to be demolished this year. They went down to the finish line but now it’s done,” Pilon told The Journal. The demolition is the first step that will see a new bridge built to replace the former structure. The timeline to replace the bridge is still a source of frustration for the mayor.

“I’m frustrated because of the length of the project. It’ll have taken about three years to replace a little bridge like that before the project is completed. For me it’s nonsense but that’s the way Quebec works,” said Pilon.

In the interim, various soil tests will have to be completed and hydro and natural gas installations will be checked before construction is allowed. If everything goes well, construction is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2021.

Structural safety reasons

The provincial Ministry of Transport closed the des Chenaux Bridge for structural safety reasons in September 2018. The closure has made travel around nearby residential neighbourhoods and the commercial district in the southeastern sector of the city – and the commercial and industrial districts in the northeastern sectors – more difficult.

The des Chenaux Bridge is the first overpass motorists encounter when they drive westbound across the Île aux Tourtes Bridge from the West Island into Vaudreuil-Dorion. The turnoff at Exit 36 gave drivers the option of either proceeding straight along Chemin Dumberry or making a U-turn and turning either right or left turn onto des Chenaux.

Major inconvenience

A left turn north brings drivers into a quiet residential area. A right turn south used to take motorists over the des Chenaux ridge that crosses Highway 40.

Drivers then had the option of turning west onto Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes – a major two-lane commercial stretch of road that doubles as a service road by connecting motorists to the Highway 40 east on-ramp just before the boulevard intersects with des Chenaux.

Motorists could also continue southwest along a portion of des Chenaux that runs along Vaudreuil Bay and access one of several residential side streets or continue to Avenue St. Charles. While the bridge isn’t a major artery like the bridge at St. Charles that also crosses Highway 40, its closure is still a major inconvenience, said Mayor Pilon.

See more demolition photos on our Facebook page.

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