Prep work underway to dismantle old Champlain Bridge which starts coming down next year

Work to dismantle the old Champlain Bridge only begins in earnest next year but preparations are already underway.

Public information meetings begin next week: May 8, 9, 11 and 13.

An online consultation period will be held May 8 to June 30 at champlaindeconstruction.ca.

An environmental study should be completed by the end of the summer.

Bridge officials are studying measures to take apart the bridge - barges and building jettys are among the proposals. They're lookiing at mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the resulting noise and dust.

They are also considering ways to keep parts of the old bridge standing for historical purposes.

They're looking at how they can recycle the old concrete and steel, for example to build walkways or to be used in artwork.

The riverside areas where the old bridge stands now could be redeveloped for recreational or tourism purposes.

Work to take apart the bridge begins next winter and should end in 2022. It's estimated to cost $400M.

The new bridge is still scheduled to open in two phases on June 3 and 17 - the old bridge will be decommissioned once the new structure is completely open.