Montreal plans to replace aging overpass

Aug. 3, 2007 at 11:26 AM
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MONTREAL, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Montreal has barred trucks from an aging overpass and scheduled it for demolition and replacement next year.

The overpass at the intersection of Henri Bourassa and Pie IX boulevards, built in 1938, is used by 40,000 vehicles a day, 3,000 of them trucks. Analysis of its concrete has found that the bridge structure is weak, The Montreal Gazette reported Friday.

The city ordered inspections after another overpass collapsed in September, killing five people. The disaster has been blamed on the weakening of concrete by thawing and freezing.

The rush-hour failure Wednesday of a bridge in Minneapolis only added urgency to the situation.

Mayor Gerald Tremblay said engineers say that the Bourassa-Pie IX overpass is safe for cars and city buses at the moment but not for large trucks. He said fire trucks will also avoid using it.

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