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LCL Excavation: New-Brunswick Construction Company Story. Chapter 1

Updated: Jun 7

New-Brunswick Construction Company Story: LCL Excavation Journey (1990-2000)

Chapter 1


Discover the remarkable journey of LCL Excavation, a prominent construction company in New Brunswick. From its humble beginnings in 1990 to its growth and success in the early 2000s, this story encapsulates the dedication, innovation, and hard work of its founders, Charles and Luc Levesque. Follow along as we delve into the fascinating evolution of this esteemed company, highlighting key milestones, challenges, and achievements along the way.


1990-1995 Renovesque Rénovations 


Rénovesque Rénovations was founded before LCL Excavation
Rénovesque Rénovations Sign

The company was started in May 1990 by Charles and Luc Levesque and the business was operated from within their homes. They registered the company for building renovations and construction as Renovesque Renovation Enr.  In the beginning, they were working mainly on exterior renovation. Seeing that things were working well, they decided to move the company to a more convenient location.  In 1991 they rented the old shop of B&M Tire in Charlo NB 


Old BSM Tire Shop in Charlo NB
Old BSM Tire Shop

The company was generating revenue through renovations and many new construction projects.  Many clients were being referred to Renovesque because of the overall quality of work and up-to-date experience : R2000 training, Atlantic New Home Warranty. Rénovesque started to be exposed to excavation projects while building these new homes. They would hire an excavating contractor as a project partner during the concrete foundation phase of the project. Rénovesque would then form and pour the foundations for the new builds. 


Workers pouring concrete foundations
Long time employee Benoit Lavallée pouring concrete foundations

Seeing that traffic and customers were increasing, they decided to purchase land with a shop.  From then on they were more competitive in the market and they realized that they required material and small construction hardware to be more accessible and more affordable to remain competitive.  In the spring of 1992, they began stocking windows, doors, hardware and paint.  By doing so, they were able to service themselves and the community.  They also increased their project portfolio to include commercial building construction: they built the Caisse Populaire of Charlo Ltee. 


Rénovesque Rénovations was founded before LCL Excavation
Rénovesque Rénovations

By the summer of 1993, they were running out of space and they decided to build a store with office spaces where they could be more comfortable. They set up a showroom which increased the customer experience.  Around the same time, they decided to incorporate the company. 


a picture of a house in Charlo NB
Rénovesque Rénovations Store and Office

In 1994, commercial renovations were a big source of revenue for Renovesque. They were awarded a provincial tender for the renovation of the Academie Notre Dame School, Fourth Floor.  Other public tenders included a new home construction for the RCMP.  Also in 1994, Luc and Charles realized that it was difficult to sustain two major shareholders in a seasonal construction business.  They did not have enough profits to distribute during the winter months.  They mutually agreed that it would be best if Charles left Renovesque and he would pursue another venture.  L.C.L. Excavations Inc. was founded by Luc and Charles.  

LCL Excavations Crew and Charles Levesque
LCL Excavations Crew and Charles Levesque (white hat)

In 1995, Renovesque was awarded another Government tender for renovations of Academie Notre Dame, Third Floor.  Other tenders included the Nigadoo Municipal Building roof renovations and Charlo Investment cottages.

  

Rénovesque Rénovations was a small company with less than 10 employees. We will highlight 2 employees from the Rénovesque Days


In the early days of Rénovesque Rénovation, the team consisted of dedicated individuals who played pivotal roles in the company's growth. Among these employees, two stand out for their longstanding commitment and contributions.

One such individual is Ghislain Drapeau, who began his journey with Rénovesque in January 1993, at the tender age of 17. Starting as a labourer, Ghislain worked tirelessly, embodying the spirit of hard work and dedication. As the company transitioned to LCL Excavation, Ghislain seamlessly became a part of the team, eventually rising to the position of Foreman. His story is a testament to perseverance and loyalty, and you can explore more about his remarkable journey at https://www.lclexcavation.com/post/30-years-of-dedication-ghislain-drapeau-s-journey-at-lcl-excavation


Time Sheet from long time employee from 1994 for a construction company in Charlo NB
Ghislain Drapeau Time Sheet from 1994
An old picture from the 1990s with a young man operating a Cat 320B L Excavator
Ghislain working for LCL Excavation

Another indispensable member of the team is Carey Gauthier, who joined Rénovesque on November 11th, 1995. Initially hired as a bookkeeper, Carey's role evolved alongside the company's expansion. Her adaptability and unwavering commitment to excellence saw her taking on increased responsibilities over the years. Today, Carey holds the esteemed position of Controller at LCL Excavation, demonstrating her invaluable contributions to the company's success. For more insights into Carey's remarkable career trajectory, you can delve into her story https://www.lclexcavation.com/post/over-28-years-of-dedication-recognizing-carey-gauthier-and-the-lcl-excavation-journey


A dedicated employee picture with the LCL Excavation logo in the back round.  Photo taken in Charlo NB
Carey Gauthier-May 2021

1994-2000 


LCL Excavation was founded in Charlo NB.  Now this construction company is Moncton and Fredericton
Advertising Sign LCL Excavation in the 90s

L.C.L. Excavations began operating with 1 backhoe and 1 gravel truck.   In this business venture, Charles was the working owner, responsible for day-to-day operations while Luc was responsible for the administration of Renovesque and L.C.L. Excavations.  Their projects were mostly with the Charlo Fish Hatchery, the Village of Charlo, Chaleur Park, and local contractors.  They saw the demand increasing for more equipment but they restrained themselves from buying too many pieces.  They rented equipment as required.  They were increasing their revenue through equipment rentals and they were gaining traction. They landed a 2-year contract with NB Power to spread ash at a dump in Blair Malcom.  The bid results were close and L.C.L. Excavations Inc. took over the contract from Dynamic (Gilles Audet).


During 1996, they heard of rumours that a local contractor Ray Levesque Ltd (no relations) would be selling his equipment soon. Since he had been in business for years and had a very good reputation, Luc and Charles saw a great opportunity to buy his equipment instead of competing against him.  Ray Levesque had snow removal equipment and some excavating equipment. 

They purchased Ray Levesque Ltd. assets and landed a 5-year snow removal contract with the Village of Charlo.  Also, L.C.L. Excavations Inc. performed summer maintenance work for the Village, the park and other local businesses. This expansion of L.C.L. Excavations Inc. made it possible for Luc and Charles to be true partners again.   


Luc Levesque is one of the founders of LCL Excavation.  Founded in Charlo, this construction company is now in Moncton and Fredericton
Picture of Luc Levesque
Luc Levesque: Employees were always valued, Luc attributes the successes of Rénovesque and LCL Excavation to the quality and dedication of his employees.

A picture of a construction crew near a big pipe with a body of water in the backround
Charles Levesque (white hat)

Between 1996-1998, winter operating was situated in Ray Levesque’s Construction garage on a rental basis.  In 1998 that rental agreement was terminated on good terms. 


Luc and Charles wanted to build a new shop on Route 134 (Chaleur Street) however, permitting was denied due to the proximity to residences. The Village of Charlo suggested industrial land on Craig Road instead. At first, this was a deception, however, the additional space available at the proposed location turned out to be luck in disguise

In 1998 L.C.L. Excavations Inc purchased an 18-acre parcel of land at 214 Craig Road, facing the airport. 

1999  Built a 50x100 garage with office space.  Also purchased 30 acres land lot on Thompson road (now Charlo Dam Rd).  This land was transformed into a sand and gravel pit. 


3 Key Projects

L.C.L. Excavations were focused on results while some important heavy civil projects were happening in the region. LCL Excavations landed a series of 3 related projects in a short span of time.


  1. The first project was civil work for the Charlo Dam. L.C.L. Excavations was a subcontractor for the general contractors Kiewit and Atlantic Underground Services.

    1. With Kiewit, LCL Excavations performed civil work at the bottom of the Dam. Kiewit's project goal was to reinforce the existing dam

    2. With Atlantic Underground Services, our primary goal was to reroute the existing pipeline which required a new underground HDPE pipeline. We had to go underneath the Charlo River twice.





2. Summer of 2000 was awarded the Bowater Maritimes inc. water pipeline project. The project aimed to rehabilitate the existing wooden pipeline. We replaced the existing structure by a new 32'' fused HDPE pipe.

This project was a milestone for LCL Excavations. This was the biggest project they had ever been awarded. The entirety of LCL Excavations was focused and committed to performing the project, it forced an evolution of the company structure and how it would be organized for years to come. It built their internal confidence as a company and elevated their credibility with future customers.


3. Eel River Bar Underwater Pipe Lining


The goal of the project rehab the existing 400 lin.m segment of pipeline underneath Eel River marsh via slipline HDPE pipe inside the ductile iron pipe. The project had planned to use an HDPE line with a diameter of 28'' and the Bowater Mill had purchased a 22'' line as a back up. LCL Excavations was accountable to fuse and prepare and perform the sliplining with the assistance of a specialized subcontractor. Divers were sent inside to pipe for inspections.


When the day came to install the 28'' HDPE line, we noticed that it would not fit in the existing ductile iron pipe. This was a major project issue and our project team worked relentlessly to prepare the backup 22'' HDPE line while the Bowater Mill was shut down for the upgrade. The project team stepped up and did ''what it took, when it counted'' and succeded to prepare and install the new liner quickly.



A visionary in the making

During the formative years of LCL Excavation, a young visionary was already making his mark alongside his father, Luc Levesque. Jean Philippe Levesque, the son of Luc Levesque, demonstrated a passion for the construction industry from a very young age. Often seen in the company of his father on job sites and in the office, Jean Philippe soaked up knowledge like a sponge, eager to learn the ins and outs of the business.


As we reflect on the early years of LCL Excavation, it is impossible to overlook the indelible imprint left by Jean Philippe Levesque, a true visionary and driving force behind the company's success.

"Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of the New Brunswick construction company story, coming soon!"

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