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Preserving the historical Québec Bridge for future generations

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For over 100 years, the Québec Bridge has stood as a testament to the innovation and hard work of Canadians, linking communities and businesses on both sides of the St. Lawrence River. In recent years, the Government of Canada has been working to identify the best path forward to ensure the bridge’s long-term sustainability, and today we are taking an important step toward that goal.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an agreement with the Canadian National Railway (CN), the current owner of the Québec Bridge, to repatriate this essential and historic infrastructure to the federal government and support its long-term viability. Canada will invest approximately $40 million per year for the next 25 years through its rehabilitation program. These investments will help extend the bridge’s useful life for decades to come, notably by increasing the frequency at which parts are replaced. The rehabilitation program also includes a contribution component for painting and aesthetics of this historic infrastructure.

The Québec Bridge is a major road, rail, and pedestrian bridge linking the shores of Quebec City and Lévis, Quebec. Built in 1917, it was designed to boost economic development and connect Quebec City to the Canadian and American rail networks. Considered one of Canada’s architectural gems, it is recognized as a symbol of engineering excellence and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.

Today, the bridge remains a critical regional transportation link, a strategic freight corridor, and an important element of the Canadian supply chain, allowing passengers and goods to move freely across the St. Lawrence River and to other destinations in Canada and North America. More than 33,000 vehicles, including cars, transit buses, passenger trains, and freight trains, cross the bridge daily. During the summer months, it is also enjoyed by some 1,000 pedestrians and cyclists every day.

The repatriation agreement is the result of significant consultations and negotiations with CN, the Government of Quebec, and other stakeholders. The agreement will position the federal government to restore and maintain the structure of the Québec Bridge to ensure it can continue to benefit our economy and all users and residents of Greater Québec – preserving the bridge’s historical, cultural, and economic value for future generations.


“The Québec Bridge is a source of pride for the people of Quebec City and all Canadians. It is a timeless symbol of what is possible when we work hard together, and today’s repatriation agreement with CN will ensure that it is protected and restored for future generations.”

“The Québec Bridge is a feat of civil and architectural engineering in our country. By repatriating the bridge, we will not only ensure the sustainability of this critical and major infrastructure for the region, but we are also giving control back to the people of Québec.”

“The Québec Bridge is part of the city’s history. It’s part of the identity and pride of the people of Quebec City. By repatriating this essential link, we are fortifying and preserving both our heritage and our future prosperity.”

Quick Facts

  • The Québec Bridge was designed and built by the St. Lawrence Bridge Company of Montréal, Quebec, in 1917. Made of nickel alloy steel, it was the longest clear span bridge in the world at the time of its construction. It was officially inaugurated by the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VIII – in 1919.
  • Initially designed as a rail bridge, the Québec Bridge now also includes three highway lanes and a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists. It remains the longest span cantilever bridge ever built, stretching 549 metres between the main piers, with a total length of 987 metres and a height of 95 metres.
  • The bridge was under ownership of the Government of Canada from its construction until 1995, when it was transferred to Canadian National Railway (CN).
  • In 2019, the Government of Canada appointed Mr. Yvon Charest as Special Negotiator to examine options for the bridge’s restoration and life extension. Following extensive consultations with CN and other stakeholders, the government received Mr. Charest’s recommendations in 2021 and extended his mandate for the negotiation of an agreement to transfer ownership of the bridge to the federal government.

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