Keeping people—and superstructures—safe

8 March 2018

As a child, Catherine Tremblay wanted to grow up to become a doctor. In a way, that’s what she is today—but for concrete and steel superstructures! By keeping the structures of The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) healthy, she also helps keep everyone who uses them safe.

Catherine Tremblay started filling her “doctor’s bag” at Polytechnique Montréal, where she got her bachelor’s in civil engineering with a specialty in environment. Her first patient: a service station that had to be decontaminated. She still draws on this formative final project—even after 20 years—for initiatives like the Solution Bonaventure, JCCBI’s innovative environmental project that aims to protect the St. Lawrence River and restore its ecosystem balance.

From Guatemala to British Columbia

When she left university, Catherine travelled to Guatemala to work on various infrastructure projects. Her career path then led her to British Columbia, where she contributed to projects in Indigenous communities to develop hydroelectric stations. Her talents earned her the 2010 Grand Prix du génie-conseil québécois in the energy category for the Ashlu Creek hydroelectric plant in Squamish, British Columbia.

Her work at JCCBI
As Senior Director, Projects, Construction and Operations at JCCBI for the past five years, Catherine has developed business processes, constantly expanded her team, and managed projects. These are just a few of the challenges of Catherine’s everyday work. “It’s very stimulating to work at a public corporation to serve the community and regularly interact with political stakeholders and the media. Our work has a real impact on people’s lives, and this aspect is important to me,” she says. 

Her current responsibilities include helping to develop the Corporation’s strategic objectives, developing and updating the emergency measures plans, acting as a media spokesperson, coordinating with partners and government agencies, negotiating agreements, and more. She is responsible for an annual budget of $150 million in project portfolios for infrastructure repairs.

Illuminating the Jacques Cartier Bridge: an enlightening experience

Catherine also worked on the illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, a flagship project for Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

“This exceptional project let us use our project management expertise to showcase the city’s most attractive bridge,” Catherine explains. “It was a rewarding engineering challenge that combined creative genius with technical expertise,” she adds. This project, which she was very proud to work on, gave her a brand-new experience that was very different from her usual infrastructure maintenance responsibilities.

Since she is always concerned with the human aspect of her work and community service, you could call Catherine an infrastructure “surgeon.” Through her daily “operations,” she demonstrates the keen desire that she shares with JCCBI: to keep everyone safe every day.


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