20 April 2017
Philippe Ewart was hired to work on the construction of the Champlain Bridge because of his expertise in traffic flow. This engineer had to coordinate this vast project to create a direct connection between Montreal and the road network leading to Sherbrooke.
Did you know that Philippe Ewart was both an engineer and an author?
In 1956, the National Harbours Board, which was officially in charge of the project, held consultations with stakeholders to decide on the exact location for the new bridge. Once the route was determined, the design and construction work was awarded to Philip Louis Pratley, who died suddenly a year later. His son Hugh Pratley took over the reins and, to better manage the project, partnered with a trio of engineers, one of whom was Philippe Ewart.
The work started in 1957 and the bridge opened to traffic on June 28, 1962. Quebec’s harsh weather conditions along with tight deadlines and a small work force put considerable pressure on the project. Thanks to sophisticated tools and an innovative use of girders, the Champlain Bridge became the source of great advances in construction techniques for multiple-span bridges.
After this experience, Ewart and his associates went on to write a number of books, including works on highway tolls and urban traffic.