One of the largest bridges in North America, the Samuel De Champlain Bridge, designed by DISSING+WEITLING together with engineer Arup and Provencher Roy & Associates Architects, opens today in Montreal, Canada.
The bridge was built and will be operated for the next 30 years through a public-private partnership between the Government of Canada and Signature on the Saint Lawrence Group. Arup and DISSING+WEITLING helped the Government of Canada achieve its objective of creating a world-class icon with a useful lifespan of 125 years, which is almost double the normal standard in Canada.
Spanning the St. Lawrence Seaway, which links marine traffic from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and connecting to three major highways, Autoroutes 10, 15, and 20, the Samuel De Champlain Bridge is one of the busiest corridors in Canada and is vital to both the local and national economy.
"The opening of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge is a historic and proud moment for the region of Montreal and the entire country. Throughout the project, the Government of Canada has maintained its objectives: the health and safety of workers on site, the quality of the work to be delivered to Canadians and the durability of the work for the next 125 years. I would like to congratulate the women and men who worked tirelessly and with dedication to build the Samuel De Champlain Bridge, which is sure to be a source of pride. They are the heroes of this project," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
The Government of Canada and Signature on the St. Lawrence Group carried through the design vision that Arup, together with DISSING+WEITLING and Provencher Roy & Associates Architects, created in 2013 in collaboration with a Visual Quality Advisory Team comprised of local design experts.
Lead Designer, Poul Ove Jensen, from DISSING+WEITLING says:
“In spite of an extreme time pressure the design process was unusually smooth, so it was possible to complete the tender design in about seven months. It was a period of intense teamwork which I enjoyed very much. The design was developed in monthly weeklong workshops in Montreal and at the end of the week the progress was presented to and discussed with the client, Infrastructure Canada, and the Visual Quality Advisory Committee. I am very happy that Canada decided to make the geometry of our design mandatory in the tender and that the bridge therefore stands exactly as intended. Now I just hope that this is the bridge the people of Montreal will call their own and be proud of.”