The Quebec Transportation Ministry (MTQ) announced on Aug. 3 that the reconstruction of the highway 520 overpass, that spans over 55th Avenue in Dorval, will begin on Aug. 9.
The work will last nearly two years, until 2022, and will result in partial or complete closures of Highway 520 over the next few months. Thirty-four thousand vehicles travel on the bridge daily.
The bridge is in such a dismal state that it must be supported by temporary metal segments which were installed four years ago.
During their last full inspection of the bridge in July 2019, ministry engineers noted the risk of concrete fragments falling from the structure. They also noted the presence of shear cracks on the outer sides of the structure.
A temporary detour will be provided for motorists.
Since it will be impossible to pass under Highway 520 during construction, the ministry will offer a free 24/7 shuttle or taxi service for pedestrians and cyclists. Quebec says it would be "extremely dangerous" for these users to attempt to travel on the fast lane to cross it.
Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau has been requesting repairs to the bridge for several years now.
After the mid-day collapse of the Concorde bridge in Laval in 2006, it was revealed that inspection reports prior to the collapse did not show any flags for emergency repairs.
According to Mayor Rouleau, the 520 bridge in Dorval became an emergency seven years ago. As a precautionary measure, the city of Dorval took the initiative to place lights at the bridge and reduced the lanes to help avoid a collapse.
"We waited a long time, we did everything that we could on our end in the interim and we are happy to know that the bridge will be safer for travellers very soon," Rouleau told The Suburban.