The Government of Canada, together with the community, has always wanted the new bridge for the St. Lawrence to be a world-class corridor with a visual identity that contributes positively to its status as the primary gateway to Montréal, reflects the community's special characteristics, and suits the context and environment in which it will be built.
As with the other project components, the Government of Canada is taking a collaborative approach to the architectural component of the new bridge.
In the summer of 2013, the Government of Canada, in conjunction with the City of Montréal, began to study various options for ensuring that the new bridge has architectural quality.
All of the experts consulted during the study agreed that in order to ensure the architectural quality of the new bridge, a prescriptive approach would have to be taken with respect to its essential architectural components.
In accordance with the findings of the study, Arup, the engineering consults hired by Infrastructure Canada, commissioned Dissing+Weitling and the Montréal company Provencher Roy to determine the shape and geometry that the essential architectural components of the new bridge will be required to have.
The Government of Canada also created an Architectural Review Panel to support it in this endeavour.
The panel, whose mission is to provide advice on the identification and ranking of project components that merit special architectural consideration, is made up of Arup, Dissing+Weitling, Provencher Roy, the City of Montréal, Mission Design, Heritage Montréal, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and the Ordre des architectes du Québec.
The private partner that is ultimately selected will be responsible for the final design of the bridge and will have some flexibility to choose construction materials and techniques.
By taking this approach to ensure that the new bridge has architectural quality, the Government of Canada is going beyond the practices normally used for similar public-private partnership projects.
The Government of Canada believes that this collaborative approach will result in an architecturally distinctive new bridge that is worthy of its role as the gateway to Montréal, that will be a source of pride for Canadians in Montréal and across the country, and that is completed on budget and on time.