- The multipurpose path across the Jacques Cartier Bridge has finally reopened for spring.
- A pilot project that tested whether the path can remain open in the winter also just concluded.
The Jacques Cartier Bridge multipurpose path has officially reopened for the season, meaning cyclists and pedestrians are now free to cross the bridge. The path closed on December 20, 2019, leaving the bridge only accessible to vehicular traffic. Throughout the winter months, however, the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) was running a winter operation simulation to a closed number of cyclists in an effort to better understand if and how the bridge could remain open in winter months to non-vehicular travellers.
According to an update provided on February 5, 2020, preliminary data of the simulation of winter operations showed the project was "going well."
Cyclists who were part of the closed system of testing were "able to use the multipurpose path on 24 days for a total of 527 trips" between December 23 and January 31.
They were then required to fill out a survey evaluating each trip and the quality of the path's cycling surface. JCCBI noted that "so far, their overall evaluation is 2.84 out of 3, which is very positive."
The test continued until Thursday when the bridge reopened to the public, which should mean that the final report regarding the results of the winter simulation should be available soon.
For those cyclists that weren't part of the test group, the RTL ran a shuttle between Montreal and Longueuil that allowed bikes on board.
The multipurpose path is 2.7 km long and overlooks the St. Lawrence River, downtown Montreal, Mount Royal, and the Old Port.
You can even stop at Parc Jean-Drapeau via an access ramp on your way from one side to the other.
There is no word yet on when the final results of the winter simulation will be released, but with such positive reviews only halfway through, as noted in the update on February 5, there is some promise for those cyclists that have been fighting to keep the bridge open all year round.
Apparently, over 150 cyclists signed up to be included in the test project in just 24 hours, indicating a significant desire to keep the path open, even when temperatures drop and the snow starts falling.
Until we have the final word on the simulation, next winter remains a question mark.
But the good news is the path is now officially open for spring, meaning anyone can now take a ride or a walk across.
Who knows, if you're lucky, you might even spot one of the baby falcons who recently started to call the structure home!