Inaction on Champlain Bridge not just a tempting symbol against Ottawa for pols


A quick family story: During the summer of Montréal’s Expo ‘67, far and away Canada’s best centennial project, an aunt and uncle from Portland, Ontario along with a great-aunt from Lancaster, were on their way to our place for the night after seeing a Scottish tattoo at the Autostade on the edge of the Expo site.  Situated where it was, I’m sure my uncle was not the only stranger in town to mistakenly head on to the nearby Champlain Bridge, missing the turn to Autoroute Décarie.  At the time the bridge charged tolls, and in the old-fashioned way with collector booths, and Uncle Homer was not a believer in road tolls of any kind so it was bad enough to pay to go where he didn’t want to go but paying again to retrace his way back to the correct route was a major piss-off!  In today’s parlance he did not “let it go” for a long while (nor could the rest of us resist teasing him about it!)

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The Champlain Bridge would not dare charge tolls nowadays given the need for its replacement, as the CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault reported on The National last evening.

This bridge is not merely a commuter artery, as important as that is, but is also the island of Montréal’s main connection to the autoroute which carries goods to and from the United States.  Does that not give it an importance which all levels of government (and their would-be successors) can agree on, the perils of doing too little (“repairs”) in the short-term just too stupid to contemplate?