On the site of the future Viau Terminal

Hugo Brassard on the Viau construction site

Hugo Brassard is happy. His work site is running smoothly thanks to some 200 workers of all trades. This engineer from the Port of Montreal in charge of the project shows us around the vast territory that is being transformed into a container terminal.

Located between Pie IX and Viau streets, and between the river and  Notre-Dame Street, the future Viau terminal, once completed, will be able to hold 600,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), which will bring the Port’s total handling capacity to 2.1 million TEUs. 

The terminal will feature a pier that is 300 metres long, the length needed to receive post-Panamax container ships that can carry 6,000 TEUs. Two cranes will be used to load and unload these ships. Larger than all other port cranes, they have already arrived on the site, where they are waiting to be installed.

Laying the running track that the cranes will be
installed on.

During our visit on July 13, the 330-metre long track that will run the length of the pier was being laid down. It will make it possible to move the cranes and line them up with the ship docked at the pier berth.  So once they have finished unloading the containers at bow of the ship, the cranes move along this running track, parallel to the pier, to stop in front of the containers located amidships, and then those at the stern.

In a few days, the cranes will be installed on their running track. Then, the electrical connections will be completed, making them ready to run in October. 

Cranes are quite tall and have very long, widely spaced legs, making them look like giraffes. In the middle of the running track that their legs run along, there will be a railway line used by trains heading to the Viterra Grain Terminal, the neighbour located east of the future Viau Terminal.

Initially the cranes were going to be red, same as the other cranes owned by Termont, the container terminal operator that will run the new Viau terminal. But at the request of local residents, they are a neutral grey instead, making them blend into the surroundings better.

Dynamic compaction is underway.

At the same time, soil compaction is being carried out. The soil must be very dense to keep it from collapsing under the enormous weight of hundreds of thousands of full containers. The way the soil is compacted is by dropping a massive weight that crushes it, then filling in the resulting holes with recovered soil mixed with cement and certain additives.

The new terminal will be up and running
at the end of October.

Work began in June 2015 and will be completed in late October. The Port of Montreal assigned project management to Génipur Engineering Group, which works with its contractor, IGF Axiom Inc. This project was made possible by a major investment from Infrastructure Canada, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and the Termont Montreal Inc.