A press conference is scheduled to take place today (December 16) around 2 p.m. to announce the official reopening of the Félix-Gabriel-Marchand Bridge, which has been closed for many years due to its condition. This announcement is long overdue since tourism projects such as its lighting, the Festipont and its proximity to the George Bryson Cultural House, which will be part of the Outaouais Regional Museum, have an impact on the tourism sector.
The bridge is named in memory of Félix-Gabriel Marchand (1832-1900), a politician and man of letters who was the premier of Quebec (1897-1900) during the construction of the bridge. In 2014, following a collapse of the structure, the Quebec Ministry of Transport had to close it completely. Following a petition advocating for the conservation of this one-of-a-kind bridge, the Department undertook major repairs in 2018.
The repairs for this heritage structure is extremely complex, consisting of reinforcing and straightening the structure, replacing the roof and paneling, rebuilding the deck and replacing certain damaged or deficient parts.
The Department has carried out additional work to raise the bridge. This work will help preserve the integrity of the structure during any spring flooding. This work was awarded on January 4, 2018 to the company Pavages Chenail, for an amount of $5.1 million. Repair work began on April 30, 2018