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Federal government to acquire Quebec Bridge, names negotiator

DCN News Services
Federal government to acquire Quebec Bridge, names negotiator

QUEBEC CITY — The Government of Canada is prepared to acquire the Quebec Bridge in Quebec City to complete its restoration in a timely manner.

The over 100-year-old bridge, which is known as one of the greatest feats of civil engineering in Canada, connects communities and businesses on both sides of the St. Lawrence River and is a national historic site.

The government has appointed a special negotiator to negotiate with the bridge’s current owner — the Canadian National Railway (CN) — and other stakeholders, states an Infrastructure Canada release, adding the negotiator will have the mandate to recommend options ranging from a transfer of property of the bridge with an adequate compensation, legislation to see the bridge restored by CN in the near term, or other options to achieve that goal.

Yvon Charest, former president and CEO of Quebec City-based IA Financial Group, accepted the role of negotiator effective Aug. 23. He will consult with local communities and other stakeholders and present a final report of recommendations to the government for consideration in 2020.

Throughout the process, the government will continue to work closely with CN to determine the scope of the project, and to ensure that the bridge is able to meet the region’s long-term needs, states the release. The government will collaborate closely with key partners, including the cities of Quebec City and Levis and the Government of Quebec.

Completed in 1917, the Quebec Bridge is the longest clear-span cantilever bridge of its kind in the world, with a 549-metre free span between the two central pillars.

It was declared a historic monument in 1987 by the American Society of Civil Engineering and the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering and designated a national historic site in 1995, the release indicates. The bridge was also the first in North America made with nickel steel, and the first to use the “K” truss method of compression.

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