René Routhier's work is in a class of its own. DCC's Coordinator, Construction Services, Major Projects has the opportunity to take a crash course in history with each project he coordinates at the Québec Citadel.

"When you start excavating a historic site like the Citadel, you always know you're going to make a discovery. You just don't know what it’ll be," explains Routhier.

As the work reveals a large number of artifacts, archaeologists are there when the ground is broken. This is a normal process known to the contractors, who are used to working at the speed at which they would at an archaeological site.

The latest discoveries revealed the ancient foundations of the Citadel's French regime. This work even revealed that the original shape of the Citadel's star was different from the current one, which was altered by the English.

Near the QC-9 building, latrines were discovered during the last recapitalization. The work revealed the first toilets with drains.

"We were able to figure out that there was a well that collected water and that this well had a guillotine valve. People would pull this valve as required. The gutter is so well preserved that it could be functional again!” exclaims Routhier.

Whenever possible, the artifacts are moved to the Museum of La Citadelle under the watchful eye of the archaeologist who keeps track of each piece. Pieces that cannot be moved are simply buried again in the sand to preserve them better.

Recently, several Swiss shirt buttons with regime numbers turned up during the work. An old fireplace in the QC32 building was also brought to light, revealing an infrastructure that still bears the label of its manufacturer at the time.

It is certainly a great challenge to combine the practical aspect of the construction work at the Citadel with the wealth of historical discoveries.

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