05/02/2015 11:07 EDT | Updated 05/02/2016 05:12 EDT

Champlain Bridge repairs kick off in weekend blitz

Drivers travelling between Montreal and the South Shore may face major delays this weekend. 

Crews began maintenance work on the Champlain Bridge Friday night; the first of five work blitzes over the next few months.

According to Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), the work will be broken down as such:

- Friday, May 1 at 9 p.m. to Monday, May 4 at 5 a.m.

- Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. to Tuesday, May 19 at 3 a.m.

- What's being done: Replacing expansion joints; reconstructing the southern viaduct near the Clément Bridge (the onramp that connects the Bonaventure Expressway to Nuns' Island); maintenance work and paving on Highway 15.

- Road closures: One lane open in each direction on the Bridge.

Additional road closures for May 1–4:

- Complete closure of the A-10 between exits 4 and 6.

- Complete closure of exit 58 on the A-15 North.

- Complete closure of access ramps on Highway 132 East and West towards Champlain Bridge.

- Complete closure of the Alexandre G. Bell onramp towards A-10 West (Closed at 8 p.m.).

- Complete closure of the Claude-Robutel onramp towards A-10 West (Closed at 8 p.m.).

- More information available here.

Three work blitzes scheduled for the fall — between late October and early November — will see the installation of modular trusses under the Champlain Bridge. 

"These blitzes are required because the final location of certain trusses will require them to be installed from the bridge deck instead of from the water," the JCCBI said on its website.

JCCBI expects to spend $127 million on maintenance for the Champlain Bridge in 2015, as well as $394 million for the group of bridges connecting Montreal and the South Shore.