We’ve all been anxious for the New Champlain Bridge that was scheduled to open by the end of 2018. However, it looks like delays are already starting and the new bridge won’t be ready until June 2019. Oh yes! We’ll have to wait another six months before we can start using the bridge! The reason behind the delay? Canadian weather!
delayed for six months
From the very beginning, the deadline was unreasonable. If we compare the construction of a similar bridge to other countries, it can take four to five years to have it built. So the three-year timeline was pretty unrealistic from the get-go. Although the workers did an amazing job and most didn’t even take time off for holiday. It comes to no surprise that the original deadline of December 21st, 2018 has been delayed for six months. Although the physical structure will be done by the December deadline, there is still some work to be done. It will, however, have to wait until spring before they can even start working on it. A 37.5-meter span over the Saint Lawrence River still needs to be built which includes paving and waterproofing the slab. The work has been pushed until spring due to weather restraints.
reasons for the delay
The main reason why the New Champlain Bridge won’t be finished on time is that of the massive heat wave we had over the summer along with strikes from the workers. Weather is obviously a huge factor and given some of the work that has to be done on the bridge, having the right temperature is crucial. Let’s not forget that the original due date was set for December 1st, 2018. In April, the federal government and SSL announced that the deadline was being pushed until December 21st, 2018. A three-week delay is not so bad when you think about it. Canada being Canada and the weather being unpredictable, the December 21st deadline seemed pretty far fetched. Especially when September hit and the bridge didn’t look like it was going to be finished anytime soon. The massive heat wave during the summer along with strikes from the crane operators in July is what caused the December 21st deadline to be pushed for six months.
The contract of the New Champlain Bridge states that for every day that the bridge is delayed, there will be penalty fees. The original contract states that for every day that the bridge is delayed, there’s a $100,000 fine for the first seven days, and then it’s $400,000 per week. Obviously, with the six-month delay, the penalty fees were going to be excruciating high. Taking in mind the new deadline, the government intends to make amendments to the contract concerning the late fees. The maximum late fees will be up to $150 million.
So folks look like we’ll have to wait until June before we can finally start using the bridge.