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LCL Excavation: New-Brunswick Construction Company Story. Chapter 2

New-Brunswick Construction Company Story: LCL Excavation Journey (2000-2010)

Chapter 2

About the Levesque Family

LCL = Luc, Charles Levesque

Luc and Charles were partners for a long time from 1990 to 2011. Like many family-run businesses, the sons of both founders grew up in the company. We will take some time to properly introduce the sons of Luc Levesque and now company leaders: JP and Andre


3 construction workers in front of 2 new culvert pipes
Andre Levesque (Right), Luc Levesque (center), JP Levesque (right). Photo taken 18 Mile Brook off Route 180

Jean-Philippe Levesque: Visionary/CEO

We introduced JP in Chapter 1 of our story. He has been working with the company since he was a teenager. He obtained his bachelor's of civil engineering from the Université de Laval in 2008. JP's work experience was all with the family business and he understood that he needed to be exposed to another work environment to effectively lead LCL in the future. He gained employment with Atcon and worked in Fort McMurray Alberta for 6 months. in 2009, Atcon was in financial troubles and JP decided to return to LCL Excavation (2006) Inc. with new perspectives on how work gets done elsewhere.


Jean-Philippe Levesque: Visionary/CEO
Jean-Philippe Levesque

Andre Levesque: Integrator/COO

Same as JP, Andre worked in the family business during his childhood. He initially went to university to become a dentist and did not plan to join the family business. After 2 years of preparatory courses for dentistry school, he finally concluded: that his true passion was continuing to build a great company with his brother and father. He then switched his career path and graduated with a bachelor's of civil engineering in 2012. He immediately started working full-time for LCL upon graduating.


A crew of construction workers in a circle in Dieppe NB
Andre Levesque (grey tuque) addressing a crew with Matt Pelletier (black tuque) in Dieppe 2022

An adult man taken a work  picture
Andre Levesque at the office in Charlo (2022)

Hard Times and New Ventures: 2004-2005

The early 2000s marked a period of significant challenges and transformations for LCL Excavation. By 2004, the company sought new opportunities to diversify its revenue streams and secure long-term growth. This pursuit led to a bold venture: a contract to haul wood for the local pulp mill, AV Cell.


LCL LOG-IN


In 2004, LCL Excavation secured a publicly posted contract with AV Cell. To handle this new venture, a company named LCL LOG-IN was established. Six new wood-hauling trucks were purchased, and a dedicated team was formed to manage the operation. Among the new recruits was Renee-Lise Lavigne, who joined as administrative support for LCL Logging. Her dedication and hard work have made her an invaluable member of the LCL team ever since. On May 31st 2024, she celebrated her 20-year work anniversary with our team.


Carey Gauthier, Renée Lavigne
Carey Gauthier (Left), Renée Lavigne (Right)

The wood hauling operation involved picking up piles of wood scattered across the forests of Restigouche County and transporting them to the mill in Atholville. Payment was based on the tonnage of wood delivered, which introduced several challenges. The wood piles varied significantly in size and quality; some comprised large, plentiful logs, while others consisted of small-diameter logs in sparse quantities. These scattered piles were remnants of a near-complete logging operation, making efficient collection difficult.

Working in the forests presented additional challenges. The rough terrain, unpredictable weather, and remote locations added layers of complexity to the operation. Equipment breakdowns were not uncommon, and repairing trucks deep in the forest often proved time-consuming and costly. These hurdles strained the company’s resources and tested its resilience.


Financial Struggles and Recovery: 2006 and Beyond

By 2006, the financial situation was dire. Luc and Charles had their homes as collateral for LCL Excavation and LCL Logging. The wood-hauling operation had become so unprofitable that it was cheaper to park the trucks than to use them for generating revenue. It was clear that the wood-hauling venture was a flop and the company had to change quickly

A logo sticker ripped and in bad shape
LCL LOG-IN sticker on a mailbox at the Charlo Office on Craig Road

Recognizing the need for drastic measures, Luc and Charles decided to abandon the wood hauling operation. They merged LCL Excavation and LCL Logging, creating a new entity, L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc., to save the company. This strategic move aimed to consolidate resources and focus on more profitable ventures.


Turning Point: New Opportunities in starting in 2005

In 2005, Luc and Charles reflected on their prior successes and secured a strategically important project that would shape the future of L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc. They had no idea at the time that this move would have a great effect moving forward by reinforcing the seed that was planted for their core focus: municipal infrastructure projects. In 2005, L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc. secured a 7.6km watermain project in St-Antoine (now Champdoré) in Kent County. This was the first project outside of their typical service area—Restigouche County, Bathurst, St-Quentin. This substantial municipal infrastructure project reinforced their desire to perform such projects.

An interesting fact about this project location is that L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc. also performed a project there in 2023, demonstrating their deep roots in the Kent County/Greater Moncton Area.
2023 St-Antoine Project
Picture from 2023 St-Antoine Project

Key Team Members and Their Contributions

Long-time employees such as Ghislain Drapeau, Roger Hickey, and Michel Noel all worked on the St-Antoine project. Ghislain was the mainline digger, Roger operated the loader, and Michel was operating a gravel truck. JP Levesque, son of Luc Levesque, also worked on the project. His vision of the company was surely greatly influenced by his experiences there.


Michel Noel
Michel Noel in 2023

In 2006, a new opportunity arose at the NB Power energy-generating plant in Belledune. This coal-powered plant required a company with heavy equipment—loaders, excavators, and trucks—to unload boats filled with coal, stockpile the coal, and feed the generating plant. Luc saw this as a lifeline and managed to secure an invitation to bid on the contract. He put everything on the line, borrowing money from close friends and family to have the financial capacity to bid and perform the contract. This contract proved to be productive for L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc. and provided positive income for the financially unstable company. Michel Noel was foreman at the Belledune site for many years



Projects


Sanitary sewer project in Eel River Crossing (now Bois-Joli)

The project consisted of installing new sanitary piping, and new sanitary lift stations. The installation of this municipal infrastructure allowed the Village to decommission the existing lagoon and pump the sanitary sewer to the Dalhousie Lagoon.

This municipal infrastructure project was yet again enjoyable for the company and the employees. We kept on reinforcing our core focus, our employees were gaining more experience and have become local water and sewer project experts.

Ghislain Drapeau is still working on these projects, you can see him operating the excavator in the picture below. Andre Levesque, son of Luc Levesque, was a high school student at the time and worked on this project.

An excavator and construction labors near a new concrete sanitary manhole
New sanitary lift station manhole installation

Subway Street Campbellton Street reconstruction

This project consisted of replacing the existing underground water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer piping and rebuilding the existing street. Yet another desirable project for L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc. that had the knowledge and dedicated workforce.



Beresford Water and Sewer Project (2009)

This project consisted of installing 3km of water main and sanitary sewer main. Our visionary JP Levesque was the superintendent on this big project. JP's brother Andre Levesque was a university student at the time and was the surveyor on the project. The presence of bedrock in that area required us to blast the rock before we could dig for pipe.



Shoreline Protection at the Dalhousie Wharf (2007)

This project was important for the Town of Dalhousie (now Heron's Bay). We performed well on the project that consisted of dredging and shoreline protection. While these types of projects are no longer performed by L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc., performing these projects helped us better understand our core focus


Dalhousie Wharf (2007)

Campbellton Hospital-Relocation of Sanitary and Storm Sewers (2010)

On this project, we had to relocate the existing sanitary and storm sewers to accommodate a new building that was planned for the area. Long time employee Ghislain Drapeau was the foreman and Andre Levesque was the surveyor



Closing Chapter 2

Chapter 2 highlights the journey of LCL Excavation through hard times and the recovery phase, with the dedication of its team and strategic projects that set the foundation for future success. As we move forward, the resilience and determination of the Levesque family and their dedicated employees continue to drive LCL Excavation toward greater achievements


"Stay tuned for Chapter 3 of the New Brunswick construction company story, coming soon!"

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