Restoration of the pont Noir piers
Published : 07-10-2020
The pont Noir's three piers, typical of the stone structures of the period when it was built, will undergo some spectacular work over the next few months. The Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) is having their foundations strengthened while preserving their heritage value.
The pont Noir spans the Gatineau river between the Hull and Gatineau sectors. Its three piers date back to 1878. At the time, the railway tracks they supported were vital to the region's economic development. This was the only link for transporting merchandise between Hull and Montréal. In 2011 and 2012, as part of the development of the Rapibus corridor, the bridge was converted to carry bus traffic. With close to 300 buses crossing it during peak periods Mondays to Fridays, it remains just as important. The many inspections conducted over the years have confirmed the bridge's soundness, and the current work is part of its maintenance plan.
In order to meet the applicable environmental criteria and obtain the necessary approvals from Ville de Gatineau, marine construction specialist Construction Polaris CMM Inc. will have to work within a very tight timeframe. The work will be done between July 15 and December 15, 7 days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. In August and September, when the sheet pilings are being installed, the work will extend from 6:30 to 3:30 a.m. This close to $7 M contract was awarded to Polaris in January following a call for tenders.
The work on the underwater foundations will be quite a feat. The contractor will install sheet pilings around the piers, after which all the water will be drained to create work sites in the middle of the river.
“The pont Noir not only joins the two shores but also two periods. From transporting merchandise to public transit, it continues to play a key role in the region's economic vitality. We at the STO are proud to connect history and the future,” indicated STO President Myriam Nadeau.
The nature of the work will not in any way interfere with bus traffic on the bridge, and no service delays are expected. The STO is pleased to contribute to the preservation of the region's built heritage. To find out more about the pont Noir's history and the repair work, go to www.sto.ca/pontnoir.
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