NEWS

12 Montreal bridges and overpasses deemed 'critical'

09/14/2011 04:55 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:17 EST

A dozen bridges in the City of Montreal have been deemed to be in 'critical' condition.

The city released detailed reports on the state of its road structures Wednesday and announced plans to spend $157 million over the next three years to repair bridges and overpasses deemed to be in the worst condition.

Inspection reports for 35 key structures were also released showing 24 have been deemed "problematic" and 12 in a "critical" state.

Not all of them are open to the public.

Mayor Gérald Tremblay said those deemed critical don't pose any danger.

"The moment an engineer tells us there's a risk -- and if we have to shut down an infrastructure -- we will do so," he said.

Inspection reports for all 586 structures the city is wholly or partly responsible for will be made available on the city's website later this month and will be updated on a yearly basis.

City engineers said that maintenance work will cost $50 million annually to prevent further deterioration.

The mayor says the city has a lot of catching up to do to rehabilitate structures that have fallen into disrepair after years of underspending.

Project Montreal's Richard Bergeron said the mayor has only himself to blame.

"You know, Mr. Tremblay has been the mayor of Montreal for the past 10 years," he said.

The plan to spend $157 million over three years to repair overpasses and other structures is in addition to $250 million the city is spending annually on road repairs and maintenance.

Even still, Tremblay said the city needs another $200 million a year from the provincial and federal governments to bring the city's road network to an acceptable state.

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