Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.

Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation – Canada
Project type : Highway overpass construction
Date : Oct 2016 Cost : $11M CAD

Synopsis :
Taxpayers often feel that their hard earned dollars aren’t being respected by the government officials charged with spending those dollars. In a story that feeds into that narrative, the city of Montreal has recently completed the demolition of an overpass that was only built a year previously. Having built the new overpass officials found that the positioning of the overpass is not in accordance with a redesign of the road access to the nearby Champlain Bridge that is also under redevelopment. The finalized design of the Champlain Bridge access has resulted in the newly constructed Highway 15 overpass being demolished just 1 year after it was opened to the public.

Note – To be fair it is worth noting that government representatives claimed that the original overpass was dangerous and hence needed to be replaced immediately.  At the time the replacement was commissioned they claim that the alignment and design of the new Chaplain bridge had not been settled and hence could not be taken into account. While there may be some truth in that, it does raise the question of why the overpass was allowed to degrade to the point where it needed immediate replacement rather than temporary repair.  Given that the replacement of the Champlain Bridge was an ongoing design effort it seems reasonable that other options should have been considered rather than a costly rebuild of the overpass.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Failure to coordinate across multiple projects. Lack of long term planning. Failure to utilize “program management” practices. Lack of internal communications.

Reference links :

  1. Brand new $11 million overpass torn down in Montreal
  2. Highway 15 overpass, completed last year, now being demolished