Canadian transportation officials have banned heavy trucks from Montreal’s aging Champlain Bridge because they say that the structure has been weakened by construction projects.
The October 10 ban stems from concern about trucks carrying heavy equipment like steel beams and bulldozers across the weakened bridge to major construction sites around Montreal.
The heavy truck ban forbids any truck weighing over 66 metric tons (72.75 U.S. tons) from crossing the bridge without a permit from the SAAQ. The ban is in effect until the new bridge opens, which is scheduled to happen at the end of 2018.
The ban is expected to significantly raise costs for both the trucking industry and the consumers who rely on trucking. “It certainly will impact on cost of carrying those merchandise, those pieces of equipment and those structures that need to be crossed through Champlain Bridge they will have to go by alternative ways,” says Marc Cadieu of the Quebec Trucking Association.
As for alternate routes, truckers with heavy loads have limited options. Most will be forced to take the Lafontaine Tunnel, which is several miles out of the way.
— champlainbridge (@PontChamplain) October 1, 2016