Structal-Bridges Spans All of Canada, New England Portion of U.S.

Tue January 03, 2012 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

Photo courtesy of MassDOT
One of the major projects Structal has been involved in was the replacement of 
14 overpasses along Interstate 93 in Medford, Mass.
Photo courtesy of MassDOT One of the major projects Structal has been involved in was the replacement of 14 overpasses along Interstate 93 in Medford, Mass.
Photo courtesy of MassDOT
One of the major projects Structal has been involved in was the replacement of 
14 overpasses along Interstate 93 in Medford, Mass. Photo courtesy of I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program
Route 34 Flyover Bridge (I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing [NHHC] Corridor Improvement Program)
New Haven, Conn. Highway 25 Bridge, Montreal/Laval, QC, Canada. Deh Cho Bridge, Fort Providence, NT, Canada.	Photo courtesy of Ruskin Construction Limited

Its cranes and steel rise and rise as the company itself has risen out of Eastern Canada to the entirety of that nation and another for 55 years.

Structal-Bridges, the largest steel bridge manufacturer in Canada and a key player in the United States, specializes in the design, fabrication and erection of bridges as well as Goodco Z-Tech structural bearings and expansion joints. Structal executes all types of projects for general contractors in the civil engineering sector, provincial and state departments of transportation, railway companies and forestry businesses.

Due to its modern facilities, high production capacity and team of seasoned professionals, Structal completes an average of 100 projects per year. Structal-Bridges has been in operation since 1956 and a division of Canam Group since 1998, and currently employs close to 500 employees.

Canadian Leader, New England Staple

Structal-Bridges was founded 55 years ago in Quebec but the reach of its steel extends across the North American continent, continuing to put its mark on some of the most interesting bridge projects in two countries; throughout New England, from New Hampshire to Connecticut to Pawtucket, R.I., and through the whole of Canada.

Structal-Bridges is based on its employees’ expertise and supported by a well-established international company, Canam Group. Structal offers exceptional service and respects its commitments. How so? Here are just a few examples, as told by Robin Lapointe, vice president at Structal-Bridges.

• “A Saturday in February 2004, a Canadian National Railway Company [CN] train was derailed in Montmagny, Quebec, resulting in a broken bridge. The interruption of rail from east to west is significant money for CN,” said Lapointe. “The same day, they contacted Structal to plan the construction of a new permanent railway bridge. On the Monday following the derailment, Structal began to fabricate steel deck plate girders that were used in the construction of five railway spans. The train was back on track after only three weeks. CN was very satisfied and thanks to the trust relationship [now] well-established, the company provided several railway bridge projects to Structal-Bridges.”

• One of the major projects Structal has been involved in was the replacement of 14 overpasses along Interstate 93 in Medford, Mass.

“This presented an enormous challenge for the Structal-Bridges team. This contract included the fabrication of steel components as part of the I-93 Fast 14 Bridge Replacement Project. From the signature of the contract to the delivery of the components, the project was executed within a tight deadline of under six months. At its beginning in 1956, Structal only served eastern Canada. Since its acquisition by Canam Group in 1998, Structal serves all of Canada. Since then, Structal has added to its product line complementary products such as structural bearings and expansion joints from Goodco Z-Tech, as well as design and bridge installation services when required. In addition, the Claremont, New Hampshire, and Point of Rocks, Maryland, plants provide a presence in the Northeastern United States.”

Structal’s founding in 1956 was just the beginning. Over the past half century, the company has grown, founded and acquired, merged and expanded. The Quebec City Structal-Bridges plant — which has a total surface area of 195,000 sq. ft. (18,115 sq m) — is equipped with a lift capacity of 135 tons (122 t) and has an annual production capacity of up to 25,000 tons (22,679 t), one of the highest in Canada.

Historical Background

In 2003, Structal secured the biggest contract in its history for the fabrication and erection of steel girders to be used in the construction of two 1,200-ft. (365 m) bridges over the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Alberta. The contract was worth $11.5 million.

In February 2005, Structal-Bridges secured a contract for the fabrication and erection of structural steel components for two bridges over Jewetts Creek in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The contract was estimated at nearly $4.5 million.


Production Capacity

In 2007, Canam Group acquired Eastern Bridge, located in Claremont, N. H., a company specializing in the manufacture of steel structures for highway and railway bridges. Structal-Bridges assumed the management of this manufacturing operation. This acquisition allowed the company to increase its presence in the U.S. bridge market and take part in projects that, because of Buy American legislation, are only accessible to producers with a manufacturing presence in the United States.

This past year brought larger efficiency and productivity with recent investments being made to expand and modernize this New England plant. The addition of 68,673 sq. ft. (6,379 sq m) — for a total of 248,650 sq. ft. (23,100 sq m) — in order to increase annual production capacity from 12,500 to 25,000 tons (11,339 to 22,679 t) was completed during the second quarter of 2011.

With rail access, lifting equipment capable of handling 100-ton components, a new 40,000-sq.-ft. paint facility and more efficient and modern offices, the Claremont plant will now be equipped to take on large-scale projects in the United States.

In 2007, the Canam Group plant located in St. Gedeon, Quebec, began fabricating girders for Structal. A 100,000-sq. ft. (9,290 sq m) section of the facility is now reserved exclusively for the fabrication of bridge components, which allows for an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons.

In 2009, the Canam Group plant located in Point of Rocks, Md., began fabricating bridge girders. Structal currently occupies 96,000 sq. ft. (8,920 sq m) at this facility, which also features a 10,000-ton (9,071 t) annual production capacity.

The business unit continues diversifying by investing in new products and new services such as orthotropic steel deck and design, and developing new partnerships to expand its business opportunities.

Working in Connecticut

Structal recently secured a contract worth close to $27 million to fabricate the steel structure that will replace and expand the Moses Wheeler Bridge, which crosses the Housatonic River in Milford, Conn. The contract awarded by the Walsh Construction Company and PCL Civil Constructors joint venture mandates Structal-Bridges to supply some 400 steel girders for the three bridges that are being built in the scope of this project.

“Structal appreciates having the opportunity to collaborate on a project involving a historic bridge,” said Lapointe. “The company is not afraid of challenges and can perform complex mandates. It’s always great pride in working on historical projects.”

A short time ago, the business unit also concluded an agreement with Aecon Group Inc. for the execution of a project worth more than $9 million in Canada. The contract includes the fabrication and installation of box girders as well as the fabrication of structural bearings as part of the North Channel Bridge Replacement Project in Cornwall, Ontario. The business unit also will install the bridge components using the launched-girder erection technique.

Structal-Bridges management is led by Lapointe, with Tariq Rashdi, vice president, business development, United States, Structal-Bridges, and Denis Fleurent, general manager, Goodco Z-Tech.

Major Projects

Some of Structal-Bridges’ major current projects include:

• Route 34 Flyover Bridge (I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing (NHHC) Corridor Improvement Program) — New Haven, Conn. (2,400 tons)

• Highway 25 Bridge — Montreal/Laval, Quebec, Canada (13,000 tons)

• Deh Cho Bridge — Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, Canada (4,280 tons)

• I-93 Fast 14 Bridge Replacement — Medford, Conn. (2,500 tons)

• Beauharnois Canal Bridge (Highway 30) — Beauharnois, Quebec, Canada (17,000 tons)

• Pawtucket River Bridge — Pawtucket, R.I. (2,700 tons)

Other Companies

Structal Has Worked With


• Walsh Construction Company

• J.F. White Contracting Company

• Kiewit Corporation

• PIHL Inc.

• CSX Corporation


• Aecon Group

• Canadian National Railways Company (CN)

• Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)

• Dufferin Construction Company

• Kiewit-Parsons

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