Travel between the Haut-Saint-Laurent and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is about to become more cumbersome. The Larocque Bridge, which spans Lake Saint-François between Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is scheduled to be closed temporarily from January 10 to March 17.
According to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), the bridge closure is essential to complete necessary maintenance that is required once every 40 years to ensure the continued reliability and safety of the bridge. The planned work is part of an infrastructure maintenance program implemented by the management corporation.
Information released by the management corporation notes that after 38 years in service, the counterweight cables installed on the bridge have reached the end of their useful life. The cables are essential for the proper operation of the lift bridge. To replace them, massive cranes will be installed on the bridge throughout the construction work, blocking traffic lanes in both directions.
The SLSMC has confirmed the Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Bridge will be accessible throughout this period, and due to the closure of the shipping season, there will be no bridge lifts during this time.
A road detour plan has also been developed in collaboration with the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable that considers existing alternative routes that cross the seaway. Road signallers will be in place on weekdays to ensure traffic runs smoothly at critical intersections. The corporation is also working with emergency services, as well as various partners, groups, and organizations in the region to ensure emergency plans are in place.
Along with the bridge closure, access to the parking lot at Parc des Bâtisseurs in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield will be restricted between December 18 to March 22, to store equipment and materials required for the maintenance work.