De la Concorde Quietly Opens

St-Jean Baptiste day is around the corner in Quebec. The national holiday of this province excites Quebecers (though I do not include myself in the equation for reasons best not explored here) like nothing else. Quebec flags will be flying high come June 24.

In the meantime, Transport Quebec has reopened the de la Concorde overpass. Let us rejoice on the blood of others. The whole sad episode has left me bewildered and jaded.

Among the many times I have visited France and Italy I walked, drove and crossed Roman engineering marvels. The brilliance of Rome never ceased to amaze me. Many of the infrastructures left behind remain structurally sound and functional. When was the Roman Empire exactly?

Fast forward 2 000 years and the New World with all its advantages permitted itself to fail on building something as fundamentally crucial to transportation as a bridge. It's not like the blueprint is a secret. Granted, negligence and corruption played a role. Nevertheless, if you are a crooked pig, it should not preclude you from at least ensuring a bridge is built properly.

Now the province scrambles to make sure its bridges are safe. Quebecers drive with one eye fixed on every overpass.

Quebec should always hang its head in shame for de la Concorde.

Since this post was written, a civil engineer from McGill University graded a few more of Quebec's overpasses. The news is frightening. Asked to grade them on a scale of 1 to 10 three got a 6.5 mark and one received a 3.5. The four overpasses considered were: Angrignon Blvd. Overpass on Highway 20, Ville Marie Expressway near Green Ave. (this is the one with the 3.5 mark), Nun's Island overpass, Highway 40 (Trans-Canada) at Decarie.

Unreal, unbelievable and unsafe.

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