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The Jacques Cartier Bridge turns 90 | ONE BRIDGE, A MULTITUDE OF PASSIONATE PEOPLE

14 August 2020

This year, the Jacques Cartier Bridge is celebrating its 90th anniversary. For the occasion, we want to introduce you to some of the people who keep this bridge safe and reliable.  

SANDRA MARTEL – Chief Executive Officer 

 

  • Why does the Jacques Cartier Bridge fascinate you? 

I’ve been very taken with bridges for as long as I can remember. They are exploits of engineering with exceptional designs that showcase the amazing talent of the people who create, build and maintain these structures. The Jacques Cartier Bridge in particular is a majestic bridge that is so unique. It was built in the 1920s, and 100 years ago they didn’t have computers or machines to do all of the calculations. What a feat! Today our challenge is to maintain this amazing structure so that it is reliable and safe for decades. We are constantly working to expand our knowledge, find innovative solutions, and develop the expertise of our staff and contractors, as maintaining a 90-year-old bridge is not something you learn in university but on the job. Our mission is to make the bridge last for a long time to come. 

 

  • How is the Jacques Cartier Bridge an international symbol for Montreal? 

Each city has its own landmarks, and what tourist doesn’t come home with plenty of photos of the Jacques Cartier Bridge after visiting Montreal? For me, this fascination comes from the bridges extremely esthetic and well-balanced geometry and the way it stands out in Montreal’s urban landscape. Since it’s curved, you can spot it from many places around the city, and when you cross the bridge, you get an up-close look at the structure, which some people compare to steel lace. The lights in the evening make the bridge come alive with the pulse of its community. It is dynamic and magnificent day and night, and it is so impressive how the light changes with the seasons and Montreal’s energy! This may explain why the Jacques Cartier Bridge is an international symbol and a showcase for Montreal genius. At 90 years old, the bridge still dazzles. 

 

  • The Jacques Cartier is celebrating its 90th anniversary. For how many more years do you think it will last? What is the main barrier to its longevity? 

Our goal is to keep the bridge open until its 150th anniversary while transforming it to meet today’s realities. For example, a long time ago, the bridge was crossed by horses! To meet our goal, we invest heavily in proactive management and our capacity for innovation. In 1930, this bridge was built really well. It has survived over the years thanks to the preventive maintenance that we’ve been doing for decades. When I look at our capacity for innovation and the know-how of our teams and contractors who take care of this structure, I have no doubt it will continue to serve and amaze us for a long time to come. 

 

  • In one word, what does the Jacques Cartier Bridge bring into your mind?

A monument! 

 

To view the photo album created to mark this 90th anniversary, click here.