Closure of McNaughten Bridge

Upon seeing the effects that ice and the spring melt had on the foundations of this small bridge, the Town mandated Shellex Consulting Group to inspect the bridge.  Their findings were:

  • Although the superstructure is in relatively good condition, the foundations of the footbridge were destabilized by the effects of ice and high water levels last winter.  
  • The foundations, as well as the footbridge itself, are artisanal in nature and are directly supported on the ground and on rocks
  • There is a significant risk of further torsion and collapse of the bridge with bank erosion
  • the bearing capacity of the abutment is insufficient, thus destabilizing the entire structure.

What does this mean?

In the short term, the bridge is condemned, and it will have to be removed and replaced. As the bridge’s foundation is on the banks of a waterway, the Town of Hudson cannot proceed with the replacement of the foundations until it receives the necessary approval from the Ministry of the Environment. This approval process will take a minimum of one year. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why must the bridge be removed?

The foundations of the bridge are unstable, and due to the continued erosion of the embankments, there is a high risk of collapse.

Why do we need the approval of the Ministry of the Environment?

The bridge’s foundations are on the banks of Viviry Creek. The Ministry of the Environment is the sole authority that has decision-making power over the use of waterways and their embankments. The municipality cannot legally do any work which infringes on the Ministry’s scope of authority.

Why did we commission an engineering report?

We noticed significant changes to the condition of the bridge foundations after the spring melt and commissioned the report to determine the extent of the damage to the bridge’s foundations

Who did the report and how much did it cost?

The report was done by Shellex Consulting Group inc., and cost $6,500. This included the evaluation of one of the bridges in the woods adjoining Sandy Beach.

Are there any temporary measures that can be put in place to have a usable bridge by the beginning of the school year?

We are in the process of reviewing some possible temporary measures that will be deemed acceptable by the Ministry of the Environment and will not require a CA (Certificate of Authorization).

Can the bridge be declared part of an active corridor, and thus fall under the Ministry of Transport’s responsibility?

An active corridor must include passage for motorized vehicles.

For more information on the Ministry of Transportation’s active corridor goals to 2030:

For more information on the Québec Route Verte (bicycle corridor):

Why not just replace the bridge and ignore the bureaucracy?

As a municipality, we are bound by the Law and must respect the laws in place.

Is Council aware of the importance of the footbridge to residents?

Yes, Council is very aware and shares the same concern as all residents.

Do we know the cost of a replacement bridge?

Not as yet. It depends on the desired design.

How long will it take for the MRC to authorize the work?

The MRC has limited authority in this matter, and they require that we demonstrate that we comply with all laws before proceeding with the work.

Will a local company be given the job?

Any company that is given the job must be RBQ licensed and is subject to applicable tendering rules.

Can we get a second opinion?

Shellex is an accredited engineering consulting firm. In addition, because it has been confirmed that the bridge’s foundations are at risk, the Town must act responsibly in order to protect the public from possible injury.