Take Hwy 20 from Montreal to Quebec City, and as you fast-forward into town, you'll see the rusted Quebec Bridge spanning the rushing St. Lawrence River. It runs parallel to the new bridge, Pierre Laporte. On January 24, 1996, the Quebec Bridge became a National Historic Site of Canada.
From 1966 to 1970, next to the Quebec Bridge, a new cable-stayed bridge was built, called the Pierre-Laporte Bridge. Although the old bridge is still in regular operation and the trains are still busy, the main traffic is now carried by the Pierre Laporte Bridge.
Just 200 meters west of the iconic old Quebec Bridge, the Pierre Laporte Bridge is the more contemporary appearance of the world's longest cantilever span. Let's find out more details about the size and design of this bridge.
Size and Features of Pierre Laporte Bridge
The Pierre Laporte Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Canada, spanning the two banks of the St. Lawrence River. Pierre Laporte, built-in 1966-1970, is also the longest suspension bridge without tolls in the world. It was originally named the New Quebec Bridge and was supposed to be called Pont Frontenac. Finally, the majestic steel structure was renamed in honor of Quebec Vice-Premier Pierre Laporte, who was kidnapped and died during the October Crisis of 1970, shortly before the completion of the bridge. The bridge now carries Autoroute 73, north from Autoroute 20, the Trans-Canada Highway, to Quebec City and Autoroute 40, and northwards towards Saguenay.
Specifications of Pierre Laporte BridgeThe Pierre Laporte Bridge is 1,041 meters (3,415 feet) long between anchorages and crosses the Saint Lawrence River. It has a main span of 667.5 meters (2,190 feet) and side spans of 186.5 meters (612 feet) each. The six-lane bridge, with a capacity of 90,000 vehicles per day, is the key to the Quebec regional highway network.
|Total Length|| 1,041 m (3,415 ft)|
|Main Span||667.5 m (2,190 ft)|
|Side Span||186.5 m (612 ft) each|
|Pylon Height||116 m|
|Number of Lanes||6|
|Capacity||90,000 vehicles per day|
With its relatively late construction date, the Pierre Laporte Bridge pales in significance next to the famous Quebec Bridge. However, it is notable as the longest suspension span in Canada. Its span is longer than the Pont de Québec because Pont de Québec has one of its main piers in the water, while this bridge has both its tower piers on the shore. The bridge is one of the positive demonstrations of Canadian bridge-building technology, the use of stone bridge towers is unusual at that time, and it stands beside the Quebec Bridge.