Relocating the Big-O at Stade Saputo

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact and Broccolini Construction Inc. have successfully moved the Big-O, Friday morning, one of the biggest challenges for engineers during the whole expansion project.

The 175-ton concrete structure known as the Big-O is an historic monument that was built in 1976 for the Montreal Olympic Games. It became a symbol for the international skateboarding community.

The structure was moved 25 meters and will keep the same incline at its new location.

“We understood when we first build the stadium that the Big-O was a huge deal to the skateboarders,” said Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo. “When we decided to expand the stadium, we had no choice but to put a big column in its location. We needed to move it to save it. Everyone in the project was pretty confident it could be done.”

“It was a bit of a struggle to get all the right dimensions and locations at first because of the trees, and there is a lot of stuff under it, including an underground parking,” said Mario Garippo, senior project manager at Broccolini Construction Inc. “We had to position it properly and then think about how to move it. There were so many different ideas. We found the best company to relocate it.”

“We put in a call to a company that specializes in relocating entire homes structures, Déplacements Grenier, as this wasn’t just a simple block of concrete that had to be moved," explained the construction superintendent Stéphane Tardif. “The Big-O is cracked in some places, so we had to monitor that throughout the move.”

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to save this structure and at the same time maintain a good relationship with the skateboarding community,” concluded Joey Saputo.

Click here to watch the first part of the Stade Saputo expansion