Montreal

Still no definite date for Samuel De Champlain Bridge's opening

While in Montreal on Monday, federal Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne was still unable to say when the bridge will welcome his first motorists.

New bridge is still supposed to be open by month's end, says federal Infrastructure Minister

The only guarantee the federal government is giving is that the new Champlain Bridge will be open by month's end, but the exact date is still up in the air. (Radio-Canada)

The opening date of the new Samuel De Champlain Bridge remains a mystery.

While in Montreal on Monday, federal Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne was still unable to say when the bridge will be open to motorists.

He said the end of June deadline will be met, but it's possible the bridge will only be open in one direction.

The plan was always to open the bridge in two stages, he said. One direction was supposed to open June 3, but that date came and went.

Champagne also reiterated that Signature on the Saint Lawrence (SSL), the consortium behind the project, is facing heavy penalties for missing the initial deadline, which was in December.

The consortium, led by engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin, won the $4.2-billion contract knowing late fees will amount to $100,000 per day for the first seven days and $400,000 per day for the next. Those fees are capped at $150 million. 

"We want to be fair and equitable with the SSL consortium, but we will obviously assert our rights and enforce the manufacturer's obligations," Champagne said.

Based on a report by La Presse canadienne

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