Superbeam removed from Champlain Bridge
New modular trusses will remain in place until bridge's replacement
The Champlain Bridge said goodbye to its super beam today, five months after it was installed to reinforce a crack on the bridge’s underside.
A team of about 30 steel workers and engineers dismantled the 75-tonne beam, before lowering it onto a barge and carting it away.
Over the past week crews worked to install the beam's replacement, 50-tonnes worth of steel modular trusses designed to stay in place for the remainder of the bridge's lifespan.
The superbeam was initially set to be removed two weeks ago, but officials with Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated said high winds made it impossible to finish the work under the bridge.
Workers secured the superbeam to the span's underside in late November 2013 to reinforce a cracked girder.
Crews wrapped Sunday afternoon, with plenty of time to spare before the Monday morning rush hour.
The temporary superbeam had narrowed traffic on the bridge and forced the removal of the reserved bus lane, but bridge authorities say that with the new modular trusses, traffic should soon be back to normal.
"Well I'm crossing my fingers," said one driver. Last time they had a problem they couldn't take it off, so just hoping, right now it's going to be fixed."
The superbeam may be gone but that's not the end of construction on the Champlain Bridge.
In the next few weeks, the bridge authority will focus on more preventive repair measures, as the structure will have to last another four years, until its replacement set for 2018.