December 7, 2015
The people of western Manitoba’s Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve had been waiting 30 years to have a safe bridge replacement to connect their community to the rest of the world. Newer, larger water trucks and other heavy vehicles were dangerously stressing their old bridge and it had been condemned. Time was of the essence. A new Vehicular Girder Bridge with a pedestrian walkway from Algonquin Bridge was the perfect solution. This project was carried out in partnership with our AIL Group sister company, Atlantic Industries Limited (AIL), as the project lead.
The Elders viewed their new bridge as a true blessing and they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by everyone in the community. The bridge was blessed with a traditional sweetgrass smudging and a drum group led a procession over the old and new bridges in a circle of completion.
And, speaking of completion, our modular offsite fabrication and design-build experience were key factors in completing this project on time.
Modular design ensured remote project’s success
The contractor, Canada Bridge, was initially hesitant to bid the project due to the remote build location. Together with AIL, we quickly mitigated their concerns with our demonstrated ability to engineer, manufacture and deliver the structure on two trailer loads from our Algonquin Bridge facility.
The owner, Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve, insisted on no debt financing as the Federal Government’s First Nation Infrastructure Fund (FNIF) moves slowly and under a lot of scrutiny. AIL and Canada Bridge entered into a lump sum, design-build agreement with the owner, which gave them sufficient cost control comfort to proceed with the work.
This also allowed us to get an early start and complete the project in a timely manner. Our diligent project management, combined with our aggressive fabrication schedule, allowed the project to be completed within the environmental restrictions of a fish-spawning window.