New Champlain Bridge hits critical stage of construction

Construction of the new Champlain Bridge is more than 80% complete, but the coming weeks will be critical to the new span being ready for use by motorists and commuters this December. 

This includes the installation of the bridge's main span, which passes over the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

With the construction holidays ending this weekend, the bridge's workforce will reach its highest, according to the Journal de Montreal. 

The project director for the consortium building the new bridge says people will see an "increase in momentum on the site" as a result. 

Construction of this section of the bridge is very complex because it means having to move huge components around while not interfering with the passage of merchant ships in the Seaway below.

There are 15 "voussoirs" - essentially huge "slices" of bridge - that must be set in place, with each one weighing about 850 tons and measuring 60 metres by 12.5 metres. 

In addition to some assembly on the ground, the installation is expected to take three weeks to complete with the help of specialized lifting equipment designed solely for this project.