The Government of Canada announced an agreement with the Canadian National Railway (CN), the current owner of the Québec Bridge, to repatriate the structure to the federal government, who will invest approximately $40 million per year for the next 25 years through a rehabilitation program.

These investments will help extend the bridge’s useful life for decades to come, notably by increasing the frequency at which parts are replaced. The rehabilitation program also includes a contribution component for painting and aesthetics of this historic infrastructure.

“The Québec Bridge is a source of pride for the people of Quebec City and all Canadians. It is a timeless symbol of what is possible when we work hard together, and today’s repatriation agreement with CN will ensure that it is protected and restored for future generations,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Québec Bridge is a major road, rail, and pedestrian bridge linking the shores of Quebec City and Lévis, Quebec. Built in 1917, it was designed to boost economic development and connect Quebec City to the Canadian and American rail networks. Considered one of Canada’s architectural gems, it is recognized as a symbol of engineering excellence and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.

“The Québec Bridge is a feat of civil and architectural engineering in our country. By repatriating the bridge, we will not only ensure the sustainability of this critical and major infrastructure for the region, but we are also giving control back to the people of Québec,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Currently, the bridge remains a critical regional transportation link, a strategic freight corridor, and an important element of the Canadian supply chain, allowing passengers and goods to move freely across the St. Lawrence River and to other destinations in Canada and North America. More than 33,000 vehicles, including cars, transit buses, passenger trains, and freight trains, cross the bridge daily. During the summer months, it is also enjoyed by some 1,000 pedestrians and cyclists every day.

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“The Québec Bridge is part of the city’s history. It’s part of the identity and pride of the people of Quebec City. By repatriating this essential link, we are fortifying and preserving both our heritage and our future prosperity,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport.

The Québec Bridge was designed and built by the St. Lawrence Bridge Company of Montréal, Quebec, in 1917. Made of nickel alloy steel, it was the longest clear span bridge in the world at the time of its construction. It was officially inaugurated by the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VIII – in 1919.

Initially designed as a rail bridge, the Québec Bridge now also includes three highway lanes and a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. It remains the longest span cantilever bridge ever built, stretching 549 metres between the main piers, with a total length of 987 metres and a height of 95 metres.

The bridge was under ownership of the Government of Canada from its construction until 1995, when it was transferred to Canadian National Railway (CN).

Featured image: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces the federal government’s purchase of the Quebec Bridge on May 15, 2024. (Government of Canada)

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