MONTREAL, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Aluminum Association of
Canada (AAC) released a market study today which shows that half of the
1,000 to 1,400 short span bridges to be repaired or replaced every year
over the next decade in Eastern Canada and the northeastern United
States are ideal to incorporate shop-fabricated, aluminum bridge decks.
The study supported by the ministère des Finances et de l'Économie du
Québec and the AAC suggests, "there are more than 56,000 road bridges
in Canada, and about 603,000 in the United States; most were built
between 1945 and 1975," stated Martin Hartlieb, co-author of the study
and President of Viami International. "Several of them will soon be
structurally unsound, if not already. In our analysis of 86,500 bridges
belonging to provincial and municipal highways, we noticed that in the
study area, close to 20% of them are already structurally weak."
"This study sheds light on the potential use of aluminum to maintain and
repair bridges, and to consider a new market for our companies in the
processing of aluminium as well as for designers, engineers and
entrepreneurs in the construction field," advised the Minister for the
Politique industrielle et à la Banque de développement économique du
Québec, Ms. Elaine Zakaïb. The participation of Québec businesses in
this market fits into the guidelines for Québec's aluminum industrial
cluster, which aims at increasing the processing of aluminum in Québec.
Proportionately, most of the inadequate infrastructures are located in
Québec; some 40% of targeted bridges need to be repaired or rebuilt.
The aluminum industry is, therefore, counting on Québec to develop this
market which in turn could provide significant export potential.
However, it is within the provincial jurisdiction that the AAC must
maintain the most hope to see aluminum fill a key role in renovation
and repair efforts. In fact, the joint study conducted by The
Technology Strategies Group and Viami International - involving 10
states and provinces - identified only one ongoing program to build a
demo bridge with an extruded aluminum deck: at Saint-Ambroise,
Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean. The success of the project could swiftly lead
to a larger project, the authors say, "Québec would, then, become the
North American leader" by using aluminum in bridge construction.
Other innovative initiatives have been revealed elsewhere. In Florida
(outside the analyzed area), the State in 2014 will conduct experiments
by using aluminum decks on drawbridges. The Minister of Public Works
and Government Services Canada is also looking at the possibility of
using aluminum as an alternative to iron to rebuild the drawbridge over
the Burlington canal, in Ontario. Its reconstruction is scheduled
within the next five years.
Québec - a leader?
AAC President Jean Simard invites structure manufacturers, owners of
these projects, engineering firms and civil engineering consultants to
adapt to aluminum to generate a shift within the next five years.
"We have to take advantage of the situation in which our North American
companies find themselves in order to upgrade a large number of bridges
and help leverage sustainable, recyclable materials that resist low
temperatures and are malleable," said Mr. Simard. "I am, therefore,
inviting the province to innovate and to be a leader in promoting
aluminum. We have a great opportunity to prove that aluminum, a true
Québec product, may be technically viable and economically competitive
for short-span bridges. By doing this, Québec will open up a broad
North American market for manufacturers. We must seize this business
The market study demonstrated that local manufacturers could be
competitive suppliers of aluminum bridge decks within a 1,000 kilometer
radius from Québec. This includes: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire,
New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts and Ontario and New
Brunswick, as shown in the Viami International and The Technology
Strategies Group document.
The full and short versions of the market study are available on the AAC
Web site at:
SOURCE: Aluminum Association of Canada
For further information:
Elizabeth Boileau: email@example.com or 514-591-7914