11/29/2014 10:57 EST | Updated 01/29/2015 05:59 EST

Champlain Bridge will not be renamed, Denis Lebel says

A bridge by any other name would transport passengers between Montreal and the South Shore just as easily, but alas — after much ado, the Champlain Bridge will remain the Champlain Bridge.

Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel announced his decision in an open letter published in La Presse on Saturday.

He wrote that he has every intention of keeping the bridge named for Samuel de Champlain — the "father of New France" — rather than change it to honour the late, great Maurice Richard once the new bridge is built in 2018.

Lebel wrote that the controversy over renaming the bridge after Richard did not originate with a government source.

In his letter, he wrote passionately of Richard and the love Quebecers have for The Rocket.

Still, he said, Champlain is a historic figure and deserves to remain the namesake of the new bridge.