12/09/2014 14:40 EST | Updated 02/08/2015 05:59 EST

Champlain Bridge: No contingency plan after 2018 construction deadline

The company that runs the Champlain Bridge said it can guarantee the safety of the bridge only until the end of 2018, when construction of the new bridge is scheduled to be finished.

- Super beam removed from Champlain Bridge 

When asked if it could keep the bridge safe longer than the 2018 deadline, a spokesman said it “wasn’t there yet,” and said there is no contingency plan if the new bridge’s construction goes longer than expected.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated said today it spent $80 million on repairs for the Champlain Bridge in 2013, and next year, costs are expected to be even higher.

The company could confirm it has a plan to keep the bridge in usable condition until the new bridge is supposed to be finished at the end of 2018.

Between then and now, the corporation is planning to carry out major repairs, mostly done under the bridge itself.

That will include having trucks and other vehicles drive only in the centre lanes because the bridge’s weakest points are its exterior edges.