Expert Investigations Confirm Freyssinet Canada's Girders are Safe

TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Comprehensive investigations performed with the support of leading independent experts have confirmed that pre-stressed concrete girders manufactured by Freyssinet Canada Ltee ("Freyssinet Canada" or "the Company") for use in the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway are entirely safe for use, the Company announced today.

The review, conducted by prominent engineers Professor Maher Tadros and Craig Finley, confirmed earlier results from full scale load testing that Freyssinet Canada's girders exceed project structural capacity requirements, having almost twice the requisite strength.

In late October, Parkway Infrastructure Constructors ("PIC") and Windsor Essex Mobility Group GP ("WEMG"), after having approved the girders at the time of production, suddenly rejected all of Freyssinet Canada's 500 fabricated girders, and have now indicated that they intend to proceed with the removal of the girders already installed in the Parkway.

In response Freyssinet Canada engaged Prof. Tadros, the inventor of the Nebraska University Girder, which is the type of girder specified for the Parkway project, and a component that has been used successfully throughout North America for more than 20 years.

Prof. Tadros observed the girders, reviewed Freyssinet's investigations and other published reports, and visited the fabrication yard. He concluded that the Freyssinet girders are suitable for the Parkway project. 

"I have not seen anything that would lead me to believe that the girders need to be removed or destroyed," Professor Tadros said, adding: "The three components of Freyssinet Canada's girders -- concrete, prestressing steel and welded wire reinforcement – both meet and in some cases exceed project requirements".

The Company also engaged Craig Finley, a prominent bridge engineer who was not previously involved in the project, asking for his opinion on the design and fabrication of the girders and whether or not they are suitable for incorporation into the Parkway project. 

After reviewing the design details, visiting the casting yard, and inspecting the girders and quality records, Mr. Finley stated that the design and fabrication of the girders are of high quality and are appropriate for this type of construction.  He indicated no reservations about the suitability of the girders in meeting the specified project requirements, expressing his belief that they should be incorporated into the project and not be removed.

The investigations support the conclusion that the decision to reject Freyssinet's girders was based on limited and inaccurate information. Removing the girders will be an extremely expensive undertaking, inconveniencing the public and significantly impacting the environment.

Since deciding to reject the girders, PIC has refused to provide details of its testing for Freyssinet Canada's comment or response.  Freyssinet Canada has remained committed to demonstrating the suitability of the girders to PIC and to the Ministry of Transportation, but has so far been denied the opportunity to do so.

About Freyssinet Canada

Freyssinet Canada, a Canadian corporation established in 1990, specializes in civil engineering and construction and is involved in numerous projects across the country.  In Ontario, Freyssinet Canada currently employs approximately 50 workers, management, and technical personnel.

Freyssinet Canada has worked closely with Labourers' International Union of North America, Local 625 on the Rt. Hon. Herb Grey Parkway project to ensure employment of Ontarian union labourers.  Girders for the project were made by Canadian workers, using local suppliers and local materials.

Freyssinet Canada participates in the City of Windsor Employment Placement/Training Incentive program, employing Windsor-area Ontarians and providing training and apprenticeship in construction techniques.

SOURCE Freyssinet Canada

For further information: Randi Rahamim, Navigator Ltd., 416-307-2093, rrahamim@navltd.com