List of bridges to the Island of Montreal

Like most major cities, Montreal needs easy highway access from its suburbs and surrounding areas. However, because Montreal was built on an island surrounded by three rivers, it can be entered by land only on a bridge or through a tunnel. Although the city was founded in 1642,[1] it was not until 1847 that the first fixed link to the outside was established when a wooden bridge was built across Rivière des Prairies to Île Jésus, on the site of what is now Ahuntsic Bridge. Another bridge was built immediately afterward, a few kilometers west, which became Lachapelle Bridge, and another in 1849, Pont des Saints-Anges, to the east.[2] The latter bridge collapsed in the 1880s and was never rebuilt.[2]

With the advent of the railroad, Montreal got a fixed link to the mainland; in 1854 railroad bridges were built in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, across both channels of the Ottawa River, linking Montreal Island to Ontario and the Vaudreuil-Soulanges peninsula through Perrot Island.[3] In 1860, Montreal got its first link to the South Shore with the construction of Victoria Bridge, which was, at the time of its opening, the longest bridge in the world.[4] Indirect links to the North Shore also had to wait for railroad construction, but this took longer; the Canadian Pacific Railway opened its link to Saint-Jérôme in 1876, through Île Jésus.[2]

Crossings

This list of bridges and other fixed links serving the Island of Montreal proceeds counter-clockwise around the island from southwest, at the exit of Lake Saint-Louis, downstream along the St. Lawrence River, then upstream along Rivière des Prairies all the way to Lake of Two Mountains, then downstream again along the East Channel of the Ottawa River until it reaches Lake Saint-Louis. The year of construction is that of the structure currently in place, accompanied by the year of construction of the original structure if the current one replaced an older span.

Key: Communities linked by individual bridges
  (M): Montreal-side municipality and borough
  (I): Island(s) crossed, if any
  (O): Opposite-side municipality and borough

Spanning the Saint Lawrence River and Saint Lawrence Seaway

The crossing of the Saint Lawrence River has always proved problematic for engineers due to width, depth, currents, and ice cover. The construction of Victoria Bridge for the Grand Trunk Railway, which, at 2 kilometres (1.2 mi), was the longest bridge in the world when it first opened in 1860,[4] highlighted the problems presented by this natural obstacle.[5] Not to be outdone by its rival, however, the Canadian Pacific Railway built its own span, the Saint-Laurent Railway Bridge, upstream from the Lachine Rapids in 1886[6] for which the Mohawks of Kahnawake were hired to erect the steel superstructure.[7] Although Victoria Bridge was also used as a road crossing since 1898, it was not before the 1930s that two fully dedicated road bridges, Jacques-Cartier and Mercier, were built.[8][9] More spans, including Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge–Tunnel and Champlain Bridge, were built in the 1960s.[10][11] No new structure has been built since, and none of the existing crossings have been upgraded or widened. A multibillion-dollar project to replace the Champlain Bridge is currently underway.

The construction of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s required extensive modifications for all spans that existed at the time. Those are not reflected in the table below.

Span Picture First span built Current span built Communities linked Carries Name origin Coordinates
Saint-Laurent Railway Bridge 1886 1910[6] (M) Borough of LaSalle Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)

Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) Delson-Candiac (commuter train)

Saint Lawrence River 45°25′8″N 73°39′34″W
(O) Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve
Honoré Mercier Bridge
1934, 1963[9][A] (M) Borough of LaSalle
Route 138
Honoré Mercier (1840–1894), Premier of Quebec 45°25′0″N 73°39′18″W
(O) Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve
Champlain Bridge Ice Structure
1964[12][B] (M) Borough of Verdun Route Verte 1 and 2 Samuel de Champlain (c. 1580–1635), founder of Quebec City 45°27′57″N 73°31′11″W
(O) St. Lawrence Seaway levee
Champlain Bridge
1962[10][C] (M) Borough of Verdun

Autoroutes 10, 15, and 20

45°28′7″N 73°31′15″W
(I) Île des Sœurs (exit)
(O) Brossard
Victoria Bridge 1860 1898[5][D] (M) Borough of Le Sud-Ouest
Route 112

Canadian National Railway (CN)

RTM Mont-Saint-Hilaire commuter train

Via Rail and Amtrak passenger trains

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819–1901) 45°29′29″N 73°31′46″W
(O) Saint-Lambert
Pont de la Concorde and Pont des Îles
1965[13][E] (M) Borough of Ville-Marie Pierre-Dupuy Avenue and Route Verte 1 and 2 Reference to Montreal's motto, Concordia salus[13] 45°30′22″N 73°32′17″W (Pont de la Concorde)

45°30′28″N 73°31′49″W (Pont des Îles)

(O) Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame (Parc Jean-Drapeau), borough of Ville-Marie, Montreal
Montreal Metro Tunnel
1966[14] (M) Borough of Ville-Marie (Berri-UQAM station) Line 4 Yellow
45°30′N 73°32′W
(I) Île Sainte-Hélène (Jean-Drapeau station) and Île Notre-Dame
(O) Longueuil, borough of Vieux-Longueuil (Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke station)
Jacques Cartier Bridge
1930[8][F] (M) Borough of Ville-Marie
Route 134

Pedestrians and bicycles

Jacques Cartier (1491–1557), French explorer 45°31′17″N 73°32′28″W
(I) Île Sainte-Hélène (exit) and Île Notre-Dame
(O) Longueuil, borough of Vieux-Longueuil
Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge–Tunnel
1967[11][G] (M) Borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Autoroute 25
Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine (1807–1864), Prime Minister of the United Province of Canada 45°35′0″N 73°29′51″W
(I) Île Charron (Îles de Boucherville) (exit)
(O) Longueuil, borough of Vieux-Longueuil

Spanning the Rivière des Prairies

Although the Rivière des Prairies is much smaller than the Saint Lawrence, bridge construction there did not begin until the 1840s—when rapid construction began on three wooden toll bridges to what is now Laval, one of which, Pont des Saints-Anges, collapsed in the 1880s and was never rebuilt.[2] The existence of regular ferry services across the river is attested from 1813,[15] but these ferries were discontinued when the bridges opened. The first railroad across the river was opened in 1876, and the Bordeaux Railway Bridge is the oldest fixed link to Laval that is still standing. (Another bridge across Rivière des Mille Îles, which was part of the same line, collapsed in 1882 but was immediately rebuilt.[2]) The highway construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s led to the construction of four new freeway bridges across the river, and the upgrading of the existing Pie IX Bridge to freeway standards.[2]

Span Picture First span built Current span built Communities linked Carries Name origin Coordinates
Le Gardeur Bridge
1939 (widened 1975)[16] (M) Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles
Route 138 and Route Verte 5
Pierre Le Gardeur de Repentigny (1605–1648), French lord[17] 45°42′13″N 73°29′1″W
(I) Île Bourdon
(O) Repentigny
Laurier Railway Bridge[16]
1904[16] (M) Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles CN

Via Rail

Wilfrid Laurier (1841–1919), Prime Minister of Canada 45°42′10″N 73°29′8″W
(I) Île Bourdon
(O) Charlemagne
Charles de Gaulle Bridge
1965[18] (M) Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles
Autoroute 40
Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), President of France 45°42′7″N 73°30′32″W
(O) Charlemagne
Olivier-Charbonneau Bridge
2011 [H] (M) Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles Autoroute 25 Olivier Charbonneau (c.1613-1687), first European settler of Île Jésus.[19] 45°38′16″N 73°37′14″W
(O) Laval (Saint-François)
Pie IX Bridge 1937[2] 1967[2] (M) Borough of Montreal North
Route 125
Pope Pius IX (1792–1878) 45°35′57″N 73°38′49″W
(O) Laval (Saint-Vincent-de-Paul)
Centrale de la Rivière des Prairies
1930[20][21][I] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville Hydro-Québec
Rivière des Prairies 45°35′17″N 73°39′21″W
(I) Île de la Visitation and Île du Cheval de Terre
(O) Laval (Duvernay)
Papineau-Leblanc Bridge
1969[22] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Autoroute 19
Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786–1871), leader of the Patriote movement
Alpha Leblanc (1908–1962), local landowner[22]
45°34′34″N 73°40′1″W
(I) Île de la Visitation
(O) Laval (Duvernay)
Viau Bridge (Ahuntsic Bridge) 1847 1962 (widened 1993)[2] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Route 335
Ahuntsic, Huron boy who drowned in 1625[23] The origin of the name Viau is uncertain.[24] 45°33′26″N 73°40′32″W
(O) Laval (Pont-Viau)
Montreal Metro Tunnel
2007[25] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville (Henri-Bourassa station) Line 2 Orange
45°33′N 73°40′W
(O) Laval (Cartier station)
Bordeaux Railway Bridge
1876[2] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville CPR RTM Saint-Jerome commuter train Quebec Gatineau Railway Route Verte 1 and 2 Bordeaux, former town 45°32′53″N 73°41′58″W
(I) Île Perry[26]
(O) Laval (Laval-des-Rapides)
Médéric Martin Bridge
1958 (widened 1991)[27] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Autoroute 15
Médéric Martin (1869–1946), Mayor of Montreal 45°32′25″N 73°42′45″W
(O) Laval (Laval-des-Rapides)
Lachapelle Bridge (Cartierville Bridge) 1848[2] 1930, 1975[2] (M) Borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Route 117
Pascal Persillier-Lachapelle, builder of the first bridge[28] 45°31′59″N 73°43′43″W
(O) Laval (Chomedey)
Louis Bisson Bridge
1975[29] (M) Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro
Autoroute 13
Louis Bisson (1909–1997), Canadian aviator 45°30′42″N 73°45′54″W
(O) Laval (Chomedey / Sainte-Dorothée)
Île Bigras railway crossing
1916[30][J] (M) Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro CN

Owned by the RTM and mainly used by the Deux-Montagnes commuter train

(no official name) 45°30′59″N 73°50′52″W
(I) (Île Bigras)
Île-Bigras commuter train station
(O) Laval (Sainte-Dorothée)
Jacques Bizard Bridge 1893 1966[15] (M) Sainte-Geneviève, Montreal, borough of L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève Boulevard Jacques Bizard Jacques Bizard (1642–1692), local seigneur 45°29′15″N 73°52′5″W
(O) Île Bizard (Montreal, borough of L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève)

Spanning the Lake of Two Mountains and the Ottawa River East Channel

The first railway bridge to Montreal Island was the Grand Trunk Railway bridge across the Ottawa River East Channel. Along with another bridge built simultaneously across the West Channel, this bridge provided the first fixed link from Montreal to the mainland.[3] It was not until 1925, however, that a fixed road link, formed by Galipeault Bridge and Taschereau Bridge, was built across the Ottawa River from Montreal Island.[31] Perrot Island was the only way out of Montreal to the West before the construction of Île aux Tourtes Bridge, which goes directly to Vaudreuil across the Lake of Two Mountains.[31]

All three spans across the Ottawa River East Channel are twinned by another span, built simultaneously, across the West Channel.

Span Picture First span built Current span built Communities linked Carries Name origin Coordinates
Île aux Tourtes Bridge
1966[31][K] (M) Senneville
Autoroute 40
Île aux Tourtes (literally, Wild Pigeon island)[32] 45°25′13″N 73°59′7″W
(Across Lake of Two Mountains)
(I) Île Girwood, Île aux Tourtes
(O) Vaudreuil-Dorion
Canadian Pacific Rail Bridge
1893[33] (M) Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue CPR

(RTM Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter train)

(no official names) 45°24′12″N 73°57′24″W
(Across Canal Sainte-Anne)
(I) Île Bellevue
(O) Île Perrot
Canadian National Rail Bridge
1854[3] (M) Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue CN

Via Rail Canada passenger trains to Ottawa/Toronto

45°24′12″N 73°57′24″W
(Across Canal Sainte-Anne)
(I) Île Bellevue
(O) Île Perrot
Galipeault Bridge 1925[31] 1991, 2009[34][L] (M) Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
Autoroute 20 and Route Verte 5
Antonin Galipeault (1879–1971), Quebec politician 45°24′10″N 73°57′21″W
(Across Canal Sainte-Anne)
(I) Île Bellevue
(O) Île Perrot

See also

Notes

A The section of Honoré-Mercier bridge spanning over the St. Lawrence Seaway was rebuilt to seaway standards in the 1950s. The bridge was twinned by an identical one, on the downriver side, which opened in 1963.[9]
B The Champlain Bridge Ice Structure, known in French as "l'Estacade Champlain," was built to control ice floes coming from the Laprairie Basin.[12]
C At the north end of Champlain Bridge, two spans, one north-south (aut. 15 and 20) and one east-west (aut. 10) connect Île des Sœurs to I. of Montreal. These two spans, called Pont Île-des-Sœurs and Pont Clément, are part of the Champlain Bridge complex.[10]
D Victoria Bridge was built as a one-track tubular bridge which opened in 1860. It was the first bridge to cross the St. Lawrence River, and the longest bridge in the world. It was rebuilt as a two-track truss bridge in 1898. The South Y approach was rebuilt around the Saint-Lambert locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1961.[5]
E Pont de la Concorde (Concorde Bridge) and Pont des Îles ("Bridge of the Islands") were built for Expo 67.[13] Pont de la Concorde connects Montreal Island to Saint Helen's Island, while Pont des Îles connects Saint Helen's Island to Notre-Dame Island.
F Jacques-Cartier Bridge was originally named Harbour Bridge/Pont du Havre, and renamed after Jacques Cartier in 1934 (400th anniversary of Cartier's first voyage). The section over the St. Lawrence Seaway was lifted to a new height in 1962.[8]
G The Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine complex consists of a tunnel from Montreal to Île Charron and a bridge from Île Charron to the South Shore.[11]
H Construction of the Highway 25 Bridge started in early 2008 and was finished in May 2011. It is a toll bridge.
I The Rivière des Prairies hydro complex is a set of three dams: one from Montreal I. to Île de la Visitation (west of the Papineau-Leblanc Bridge), which includes a footpath; another between Île de la Visitation and Île du Cheval de Terre; and the longest span between Île du Cheval-de-Terre and Île Jésus. Île de la Visitation is joined to Montreal by another two small bridges: a road bridge, which also serves as a dam (historically, a water mill) and a footbridge.
J The railway crossing at Île Bigras consists of two spans, one north and one south of Île Bigras.
K A structure known as "Île Bray Bridge" was abandoned while still under construction in favor of Île aux Tourtes Bridge.[31]
L Galipeault Bridge was first built in 1925 and doubled in 1964. Both spans have been replaced since. Taschereau Bridge, which was part of the same project, spans the West Channel along the same highway.[31]

References

  1. The Encyclopedia Americana: a library of universal knowledge, Volume 19. University of Wisconsin – Madison. 1919. p. 415.
  2. Dion, Richard; André Bernier; Serge Philibert; Georges Leahy; Sylvie Lalonde (1981). Analyse historique et architecturale sur le patrimoine lavallois, volume 1 (in French). Pluram Inc. pp. 47–51.
  3. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 1703–2003. Paroisse Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. 2003. pp. 125, 130. ISBN 2-9808057-0-X.
  4. Sweetser, Moses Foster (1877). New England; a handbook for travellers. J.R. Osgood and co. p. 391.
  5. "The Victoria Bridge". City of Montreal. 2003. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
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  7. Johansen, Bruce Elliott (1999). The encyclopedia of Native American economic history. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-313-30623-5.
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  9. Les Ponts Jacques-Cartier et Champlain Incorporée. "Histoire du pont Mercier" (in French). Les Ponts Jacques-Cartier et Champlain Incorporée. Archived from the original on 2001-05-25. Retrieved 2009-07-20.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  10. "The Champlain Bridge and Bonaventure Expressway". Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated. Archived from the original on 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  11. "Pont-tunnel Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine (40 ans)" (in French). Transports Québec. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-08-19. |language=French
  12. "The Champlain Bridge Ice Control Structure". Les Ponts Jacques-Cartier et Champlain Incorporée. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  13. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  14. "Important dates in STM's history". Société de Transport de Montréal. Archived from the original on 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  15. Boulanger, Micheline; et al. (2008). Histoire de l'Île Bizard (in French). Éditions Histoire Québec. p. 138. ISBN 978-2-89586-038-9.
  16. Charlemagne et son histoire (in French). Comité des fêtes du soixante-quinzième anniversaire de Charlemagne. 1986. pp. 134–135. ISBN 2-9800711-1-0.
  17. Marchi, François (2007). "Pierre Le Gardeur (1605–1648)" (in French). Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  18. Lachenaie: 300 ans d'histoire à découvrir (in French). Corporation du Tricentenaire de Lachenaie. 1983. p. 400.
  19. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  20. Fortin, Jean-Claude; Jacques Saint-Pierre; Normand Perron (2008). Histoire de Laval (in French). Institut national de la recherche scientifique. p. 109. ISBN 978-2-7637-8859-3.
  21. "La centrale de la Rivière-des-Prairies". Hydro-Québec. Retrieved 2009-07-20. [Hydro-Québec]
  22. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  23. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  24. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  25. "A glorious day for transit in Laval". Montreal Gazette. 2007-04-27. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  26. Île Perry
  27. Fortin, Jean-Claude; Jacques Saint-Pierre; Normand Perron (2008). Histoire de Laval (in French). Institut national de la recherche scientifique. p. 210. ISBN 978-2-7637-8859-3.
  28. "Fiche toponymique" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
  29. Fortin, Jean-Claude; Jacques Saint-Pierre; Normand Perron (2008). Histoire de Laval (in French). Institut national de la recherche scientifique. pp. 249–250. ISBN 978-2-7637-8859-3.
  30. Andreae, Christopher (1997). Lines of Country: An Atlas of Railway and Waterway History in Canada. The Boston Mills Press. p. 107. ISBN 1-55046-133-8.
  31. Bélisle, Michel (2007). De l'Isle aux Tourtes à Vaudreuil-Dorion (in French). Collectif pour l'histoire de Vaudreuil-Dorion. p. 263. ISBN 978-2-9810200-0-0.
  32. Fiche descriptive
  33. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 1703–2003. Paroisse Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. 2003. p. 125. ISBN 2-9808057-0-X.
  34. Jason Magder. "Galipeault span to get $98-million facelift". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2008-07-02.

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