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Alejandro Mazuera: my internship experience at JCCBI

9 November 2018

Growing media coverage of the construction industry got me interested in the many organizations working in this sector. The technical feats of projects on the Honoré Mercier Bridge (deck replacement in the federal section), Champlain Bridge (instrumentation and monitoring), and the Jacques Cartier Bridge (illumination for Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th) helped me discover the organization behind these large-scale projects: The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), a leader in the management of major structures in Quebec. When I saw an internship posting with JCCBI’s Construction Projects team, I obviously jumped at the chance! For me, this was a unique opportunity to work for an organization that manages, repairs and maintains some of  Montreal’s most iconic infrastructure. 

In my role at JCCBI, I got to shadow engineer José-Luis Mosquera, a project manager with the Jacques Cartier Bridge steel reinforcement program, the goal of which is to extend the bridge’s service life to 150 years (the bridge celebrated its 88th anniversary on May 24, 2018). Since starting my internship, I have been constantly learning. Every day, I’ve had an incredible opportunity to interact with JCCBI’s teams, with engineering consulting firms and contractors in the field, and with mobility partners. I have also actively worked on major projects and had the chance to visit active worksites and get a first-hand view of their work methods.

The major program to reinforce the steel of the Jacques Cartier Bridge is a huge and complex project particularly due to the structure’s age, length, location above the St. Lawrence River, and traffic volume (over 30 million trips per year). My experience at JCCBI has taught me that, in a project of this scope, you have to effectively coordinate work with all mobility partners to make sure users can get where they need to go. 

My internship is coming to an end, but I’m lucky to have had the chance to work on a project with so many technical, environmental and social challenges. This very enriching work experience will inspire me throughout my career!