The bridge is 3,441 m in length from abutment to abutment and consists of three sections, which are numbered from west to east as 5, 6 and 7. The west and east sections, which have lengths of 2150 m and 528 m respectively, were built using prestressed concrete I-beams spanning between concrete piers and supporting post-tensioned concrete decking paved with asphalt. Section 6, which is the central portion over the St. Lawrence Seaway, consists of steel trusses that also bear on reinforced concrete piers, which support a steel deck with an overall length of 763 m including a cantilevered span of 215 m.
Due to the structural deterioration of the bridge over time from de-icing salts coupled with a poor drainage system, various reinforcement measures and rehabilitation programs were undertaken since the 1990s culminating in the installation of 94 modular steel trusses and 6 shoring systems to stabilize the condition of the bridge girders in the mid-2010s.
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) – a Canadian Government Crown Corporation – which is responsible for the management, maintenance, and monitoring of the bridge – decided to construct a replacement bridge just downstream from the original construction. The new bridge opened on the 1st of July 2019 and the old one closed to traffic after only 57 years in service.
The Champlain Bridge, which was constructed between 1957 and 1962, spans the St. Lawrence River and Seaway, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The bridge provided a critical link for commuters between the city, which is located on an island between two rivers, and the expanding suburbs, while also spurring the economic growth of the region by facilitating transportation to and from the northeastern United States. The bridge, which became one of the busiest in Canada with about 50 million crossings per year, consisted of a six-lane expressway that carried traffic from three different highways (Autoroutes 10, 15, and 20).