Want to cycle on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge this winter? The JCCBI is looking for candidates

MONTREAL – Twenty-five cyclists will be chosen to take part in a project to ride across the Jacques-Cartier Bridge this winter.

It’s part of a simulated winter operations scheme by the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI).

The organization says the cyclists who participate in the project will do so, “on a pro-bono and voluntary basis.”

“They will have to sign an agreement with the JCCBI and commit to attending an information session,” the corporation states.

“The participating cyclists must be able to cross the bridge and help with the simulation project every day as the path conditions permit.”

The goal, according to the JCCBI, is to determine the “most effective snow removal techniques” by gathering information from the experiences of cyclists allowed to take the path.

It says it wants to refine its maintenance, monitoring and communication protocols during real-life winter conditions to assess what kind of service it can realistically provide on the path during the cold season.

“The JCCBI has been working for several years to find solutions to minimize risks and safely operate the multipurpose path during the winter,” said Sandra Martel, CEO of the JCCBI.

“Despite the many challenges of this structure, we are not giving up and will continue our efforts, while getting feedback from cyclists as we develop our protocols.”

The JCCBI says it will also make sure to update the south shore cities of Longueuil and Saint-Lambert, which are closest to the bridge, about the project’s progress.

The project comes after cyclists protested last fall over the closing of the bridge's bike path for the winter.

The fight to keep it open has been going on for over a decade, with some cyclists openly admitting to "jumping over the fence" in an attempt to travel over the bridge.

This year, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) will run a shuttle, VéloBus Jacques-Cartier, for cyclists not allowed on the bridge.

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge bike path is expected to close at the end of the fall.

The JCCBI says it has already received more than 100 entries from cyclists. The deadline to apply is Nov. 22.