Montreal-area residents are lining up for the chance to own a little piece of the Champlain Bridge that connected the city and its South Shore for nearly 60 years.
As of 9:30 a.m. people were lining up in the rain on foot and in vehicles to get one of a few thousand rivets from the bridge that are being given away as keepsakes.
The original Champlain Bridge was decommissioned in 2019 when it was replaced by a new $4.4-billion span.
A spokeswoman for the federal Crown corporation that manages the old bridge says the structure played a major part in the economic development of both Montreal and its suburbs, even though it was plagued with issues in its final years.
Nathalie Lessard says rivets—essentially big nails—are significant because they helped hold the bridge together and aren’t used in modern construction.
The rivets come with a disclaimer warning that they may contain traces of lead paint, which has been mitigated by a protective coat of varnish.