New Champlain Bridge officially open in both directions as old one gets parade sendoff

The new Champlain Bridge is officially totally open for business.

A week after the lanes heading into Montreal opened to traffic, the outbound lanes towards the South Shore were inaugurated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday.

The opening of the new also meant the official retirement of the old bridge, which first opened 57 years ago. A procession of three cars from 1962 proceeded across the soon to be deconstructed structure to mark the occasion.

The cars were driven by people involved in the bridge's history, including 88-year-old Eugene Joseph Diabo, one of the workers who helped on construction.

Brossard Mayor Doreen Assaad called the closing of the old bridge a bittersweet affair.

"All my memories are attached to this bridge," she said. "For me, the success of Brossard is really linked to the success of the Champlain Bridge."

The official opening of the new bridge took place on Friday, with an Aboriginal blessing, speeches, the national anthem of Canada, a ribbon ceremony and the unveiling of a bust of Samuel de Champlain.