Photos: demolition of the bridge over the A40
This past weekend, an 8-km segment of Highway 40 in western Montréal was closed to allow for the demolition of a railway overpass (which will eventually be replaced by an REM elevated structure). View photos of this construction site where more than 2000 m3 of concrete was demolished and cleared in less than 30 hours.
Saturday, 6 p.m.: closure of Highway 40 in both directions
After the service lanes were closed in the afternoon, our team, in collaboration with the Ministère des Transports du Québec, completely shutdown Highway 40 (between A13 and St-Jean Blvd.). It was no small challenge: this was the first time that the TransCanada Highway was closed both directions in Montréal, and work absolutely had to be completed in time to re-open it by rush hour Monday morning.
In all, about thirty workers and engineers were mobilized to work through the night Saturday into Sunday, and then all day Sunday to ensure this operation was a success. The first step of the work at 6 p.m. involved laying down a layer of gravel over the highway in the work area to protect the existing roadway.
Saturday, 8 p.m.: demolition begins
As evening settled in, demotion work began. Work was performed by power shovels equipped with jaws or jackhammers. At one point, eight power shovels worked to demolish the overpass at the same time (see video below).
Technical teams recommended the use of power shovels equipped with jaws to minimize the size of the debris that would fall to the ground. This also reduced vibration and protected existing public utilities in the immediate surroundings (road and buried networks).
Sunday, 7 a.m.: overpass is demolished – cleanup starts
By sunrise, the bridge deck was completely demolished, but the site is nowhere near ready for re-opening: our team still needed to demolish the overpass support columns and pick up all the debris from the ground.
As work progressed, the demolition debris was picked up by loaders and transported by truck to a location nearby for processing at a later date. Over the course of the next few weeks, the materials will be sorted to separate the concrete from the rebar so it can all be disposed of safely.
Lastly, we removed the gravel spread over the roadway at the outset, and swept the lanes clear of the demolition dust.
Sunday, 8 p.m.: progressive opening of Highway 40
End of the operation. The first lanes were opened in early evening; by 11 p.m., the highway was completely open to traffic, several hours ahead of time!
Teams can now focus on the next steps that will take place on the West Island: construction of the 12 km of elevated structure running along Highway 40. Two new modern structures will be built where the demolished overpass was located. That is also where two REM branches will meet: the branch running toward the Montréal-Trudeau Airport (underground route) and the branch running toward Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (elevated route).
Learn more about the next REM work sites in 2019.