The story behind this extraordinary project for Béton Provincial starts in June 2015, when the Béton préfabrique du Lac (BPDL) company won the contract for the precast concrete elements to make up the columns, pylons, beams, and other slabs for the new Champlain Bridge. An entrepreneurial gem set up in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, BPDL has lots of experience with large-scale projects: their portfolio includes prestigious projects on both sides of the border, such as Madison Square Garden in New York, Fenway Park in Boston, and the Bell Centre in Montreal.
BPDL was mindful of using impeccable quality materials to build the 10,000 pieces included in the contract, and they called upon Béton Provincial to supply the ready-mixed concrete to be poured into its formwork. Various cements were proposed to the client, including cement from our sister company, Tercim. Tercim was selected because it was the highest quality cement available in Quebec. A neighbour of the BPDL Drummondville plant in Saint-Eugène-de- Grantham, the Béton Central division of Béton Provincial inherited the important job of preparing the selected cement mixes. Every day, BPDL orders a particular mix based on the type of pieces required by the consortium in charge of building the bridge. After the information from the orders is accepted and entered, the orders are subject to minute verification: each of the ingredients in every ordered recipe is validated and certified compliant. Next, the concrete is manufactured, and then loaded into the concrete mixer. Before the truck leaves, a technician again tests it for compliance, a step that is once again conducted at BPDL before the concrete is poured into the formwork. Clearly, meticulousness and precision are the watchwords at all times, a challenge that goes along with the inherent requirements of building large-scale infrastructure such as the Champlain Bridge.
“It is a highly technical contract that pushed us to new levels of expertise, and forces us to maintain it every day,” explains Guy Boucher, managing director of Béton Provincial’s Centre-du-Québec region.