Backgrounder: Preserving the historical Québec Bridge for future generations


The federal government announces the conclusion of a retrocession agreement with Canadian National Railway Company (CN) to transfer ownership of the Quebec Bridge back to the Government of Canada.

This agreement ensures that the sustainability of this century-old bridge will be guaranteed and that users will be able to benefit from it safely for many more decades to come.

Over the next few months, the Government of Canada will be moving swiftly ahead with its due diligence process, which includes surveying work to finalize the transfer. The Government of Canada will then implement a rehabilitation program to ensure the sustainability of this strategic corridor, as well as improving the visual appearance of this heritage infrastructure.

Canada's approach to rehabilitating the bridge is balanced between maintaining the long-term viability of this strategic corridor, improving the visual appearance of a heritage infrastructure and sound management of public funds.

The rehabilitation program includes steel repair and replacement work, and a painting program to protect bridge elements that are more prone to active corrosion or are difficult to replace, and to improve the overall visual appearance of the bridge.

Under the terms of these negotiations, CN agrees to pay the Government of Canada user fees for the life of the bridge, subject to certain essential conditions. 

As part of this agreement with CN, the Government of Canada also undertakes to take over and respect the current terms and conditions of the agreement between CN and the Government of Quebec regarding the use, management and maintenance of the road deck of the Quebec Bridge.

Under the federal plan, CN and the Government of Quebec will retain responsibility for and ownership of the rail and road decks on the bridge structure, respectively, and will be responsible for all costs associated with these decks, as is currently the case. This plan will enable the necessary investments to be made to ensure the bridge's safety and integrity, extend its lifespan and improve its visual appearance, while preserving its heritage.

In addition to its economic value, the Quebec Bridge is of great strategic and historical importance. For over 100 years, the people of the region have relied on this bridge for their daily commutes, tourism and trade.

In closing, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of this bridge, which is also a strategic freight corridor for regional, national and international markets, and an important link in the Canadian supply chain.

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