Engineers Build Bridge to Île-Verte

The temporary bridge can hold the weight of a standard fire truck but it will not be accessible to pedestrians. (Radio-Canada/Bahador Zabihiyan)
The 50-metre bridge is being constructed on land and will then be pushed over the Rivière-des-Prairies. (Melissa Francois/Radio-Canada)
The regular Île Verte access is completely submerged and authorities are concerned about what state it will be in once cleared of water. (Melissa Francois/Radio-Canada)
Publication Date 
16 May 2017

From the CBC:

More than 100 Canadian Forces engineers have been working around the clock building a new temporary bridge on Île-Verte, to restore road access to part of the island, after the regular bridge was heavily damaged by flooding.

Île-Verte, an island that is part of Laval, has been experiencing major flooding and dozens of residents have had to evacuate. Residents on the eastern part of the island have only been able to access the rest of Île-Verte by boat since the water levels in the small creek rose to cover the roadway.

By Major Frank Mahoney, 33 FES, Ottawa

The bridge in Île-Verte was requested by the City of Laval in order to re-establish a link to the isolated section of the island in order to allow emergency vehicle access.

2 Div ESCC sent Maj Maloney and CWO Kletky, from 33 FES to investigate the feasibility of this task. 33 FES is a composite Sqn formed from all the reserve engineer units in 4 Div (31 CER, 32 CER, and 33 CER) complete with resources detachment (21 boats, and other equipment); as well as three heavy equipment detachments (3x Backhoe and 2 dump trucks).  There were a total of 105 officers and NCM.

The bridge itself was rented by the City of Laval as soon as we said that we could do it. Once the city's engineers had a survey of the site and the number of bays established, an ACROW sales Engineer immediately dispatched the bridge from their depot in New Jersey. This happened on Wednesday evening, 10 May 2017, and bridge loads on 50' flatbeds started showing up on the afternoon of Thursday, 11 May. Site preparation and a site survey were completed by the city and site preparation and staging of bridge parts started during the night. Rollers were in place by 1100 hrs and the first transom was placed at 1220 hrs the following day.

As the bridge was designed by the ACROW engineer and approved by the City of Laval. The design chosen was a 16 bay TS2R (Triple Single with 2x reinforced panels per truss). The launch method was cantilever with no nose, meaning the bridge was more than twice the width of the gap. This was required as the state of the banks, a washed out concrete culvert, and the subgrade under the existing asphalt road could not be determined or guaranteed due to the flooding. In addition, the bridge required built up abutments in the form of timber cribs filled with gravel instead of steel ramps.

33 FES provided the expertise in building the ACROW bridge. As this is the only bridge held by reserve units, they have become very familiar with its construction.The bridge commander was WO Valois from 31 CER with assistance from WO Martin from 32 CER, WO Malenfant and WO Deslauriers from 5RGC, and party commanders from all units involved.

Site commanders were Capt Fox from 33 CER, Capt Suarez-Diaz from 31 CER and Lt Rubisov from 32 CER. The construction continued in shifts 24/7 with the aid of backhoes and continuous delivery of bridge parts from the staging area to the work site due to the site restrictions. The estimated time of completion was 40 hours but delays in confirming design of abutments and changes in their location have pushed that to 60 hours.


Note: There have been numerous articles published on this task. these two have video: