Aluminium Arch & Precast Footings Accelerate Washout Fix


In McBride, BC, a pair of old culverts had collapsed impeding a salmon-bearing tributary of the Fraser River. This eventually caused an access road to wash out, exposing the village’s main sanitary line to its sewage lagoon. Due to the danger of that 40-year-old asbestos/concrete pipe also failing and with the time crunch of an approaching winter, quick action was needed.


Time to Call for an AIL Solution


This project was given priority in AIL’s Engineering and Drafting departments and they were able to run a design check and deliver drawings in 10 days. AIL cast the footings and delivered them with the arch components 10 days after that.


Corrosion/Abrasion-Resistant Dur-A-Span Aluminium was Perfect.

The new structure had to be open bottom to meet fish passage requirements but also have enough soil depth above and below the sanitary sewer line. A permanent solution was required that would not suffer the same corrosion failure.


Lightweight and Easy to Handle


The assembly of the structure went smoothly. The aluminium plates proved so light and easy to handle that the crew of local day labourers didn’t need to use a crane or excavator to fit them into place.

The Village of McBride and the consultant, McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., expressed how happy they were with AIL's support. A McElhanney representative commented:

"AIL responded quickly with design and ultimately the delivery of the crossing to the project site. They reviewed the specifications in detail with us as well as useful tips for installation and common mistakes to avoid. With this information in hand, site installation went quickly, a critical factor with the time of year for construction. The site visit during the initial stages of plating was extremely helpful and avoided any assembly delays. Given the proximity to Christmas this service was very much appreciated."


Name: McBride Lagoon Arch
Location: McBride, BC
Owner: Village of McBride
Engineer: McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd
Contractor: Local day labour
Product: Dur-A-Span Arch with Precast Concrete Footings
Application: Stream Crossing
Dimensions: Span 4.3 m x Rise 2.2 m x Length 19.2 m
Installation Time: Three Weeks

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 15:39

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Super-Cor Rail Overpass Makes a Grand Entrance

Road traffic approaching the new 81-20 Grain Terminal near Randolph, Nebraska, passes through a handsome rail loop overpass made from a Super-Cor Arch and Vist-A-Wall MSE Structural Walls.
Good-Looking and Hard-Working!
The structure completes a well-thought-out architectural statement with its graceful shape and coloured stone finish on the walls and trim that coordinate with the river stone landscaping, concrete roadway and signage treatment. But, it also gets a big job done — supporting heavy 110-car train loads. In fact, Super-Cor's strong corrugation profile can handle multiple lanes of E-80 rail traffic with the added benefits of a 12 m clear span and only 84 cm of cover.
Download PDF of Elevation Drawing
A More Environmentally-Friendly Choice
In addition to this solution being more economical than a span bridge, the Super-Cor/Vist-A-Walls structure was also favoured because it did not require deep foundations and made less impact on an environmentally-sensitive portion of the site.
The project was delayed due to permits and the owner’s issuance of contracts, but we streamlined our processes in the plant and had all material on site within weeks. The owner has used images of the entrance structure in marketing materials and feels it is an attractive benefit to their brand image.
About 81-20 Grain LLC
Located at the intersection of Highways 81 and 20, the new 5-million-bushel shuttle loader grain elevator is a joint venture by Central Valley Ag (CVA) and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). 81-20 Grain LLC handles corn and soybeans from regional farmers, primarily for transportation by BNSF shuttle trains to export markets via the US Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest and Southwest.
Name: CVA Randolph - Industrial RR Crossing
Location: Randolph, NE
Owner: 81-20 Grain LLC, a Joint Venture between Central Valley Ag (CVA) and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)
Engineer: Olsson Associates
Contractor: Hawkins Construction Company
Product: Super-Cor Arch
Application: Rail Overpass
Dimensions: Span 15 m x Rise 5 m
Installation Time: Two Months



Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 December 2015 08:32

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Super-Cor Performance Sways Client off Concrete Option

Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR) had specified a concrete structure for a stream crossing on the new exit connector joining Highway 103 with Highway 3 at Ingramport near Halifax. Knowing that the Super-Cor Arch would perform just as well and provide considerable savings, the AIL team went to work to prove their point. 

Value-engineered Alternative

To be successful on a design/build project like this, any solution other than the specified one has to meet the minimum requirements for an NSTIR Value Engineered Alternative (VEA). AIL met with their design office regarding a VEA with our Super-Cor Steel Arch with Vist-A-Wall headwalls. AIL indicated that both these solutions were already specified in the NSTIR General Specifications and they agreed to evaluate them as a VEA.

By selecting this efficient and easy-to-install VEA solution, the contractor and the owner were able to realize significant shared savings. Plus, the Super-Cor Arch was a more environmentally friendly option, with higher recycled content and lower impact on the fish habitat. 



AIL worked closely with the contractor top ensure the structures were completed according to schedule.  Project follow-up confirmed that all went well through the complete project cycle.

More about Super-Cor »


Name: Kieley Brook Bridge
Location: Halifax, NS (Ingramport)
Owner/Engineer: Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
Contractor: Alva Construction
Product: Super-Cor Arch with Vist-A-Wall MSE Structural Wall System (Precast Panel)
Application: Stream Crossing
Dimensions: Span 13 m, Rise 3.74 m, Length 30 m
Installation Time: Four Weeks


Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 09:26

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AIL Sound Wall Dons the Pads for University of Houston Practice Field

Lightweight and easy-to-install AIL Sound Walls were recently selected for a particular section of Houston’s major Metrorail expansion. On this project, the University of Houston was concerned about protecting their football players and the City of Houston was concerned about protecting their main sewer and storm drainage lines.

The University asked that AIL designs the barrier to allow for mounting heavy protective pads on the back, so AIL had to integrate extra reinforcement into the barrier to support that load. The City did not want a standard precast concrete sound barrier in this section, fearing its weight might damage the pipelines and repair/maintenance access might be more difficult. 

AIL’s Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) sound wall system was ready to get its game face on and crossed those lines with ease.

Part of a Design-Build Project by Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture

The Metrorail expansion was part of a $2 billion design-build project by Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture (HRT JV) that included four new stations and 17 miles (27 kilometers) of new track. The HRT JV team included Parsons Transportation Group, Granite Construction Company, Kiewit Texas Construction L.P., and Stacy and Witbeck, Inc.


AIL worked hand in hand with Parsons to design a continuous footing foundation as they were not able to drill traditional pillar footings due to the underground services. AIL also collaborated with the fence pad supplier to ensure that the AIL system was designed properly to accept and support their heavy load. This was a late add-on to the project, so AIL had to react quickly, with revised shop drawings and production. 

The barrier was supplied in a timely fashion and installed in just under two weeks. According to HRT JV, the Metrorail and University teams are both happy with the new barrier and received only positive feedback on the sleek look of AIL’s barrier over the standard precast alternatives.


Name: Houston Rapid Transit - University of Houston Sound Barrier
Location: Houston, TX
Owner: Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority
Engineer: (HRT JV) Parsons Transportation Group
Contractor: (HRT JV) Kiewit Texas Construction L.P.
Product: Tuff-Barrier
Application: Light Rail Reflective Sound Barrier
Dimensions: Height 2.5 m, Length 104.5 m
Installation Time Two Weeks




Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:30

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British Columbia, Canada Emergency Crossing Engineered for Flooding and Settlement Needs

A stream crossing on a new emergency access road to Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, in Coquitlam, BC, had specific requirements – being in a flood zone. The project team selected a Super•Cor Low Profile Arch for its flexible design and its ability to withstand a flood event and keep the emergency route open.


There was also a settlement issue in this soft, marshy site.  AIL’s in-house engineering team collaborated with a geotechnical consultant to ensure that our design met the requirements and to help value-engineer an efficient solution for the soft foundation soils.

Value-engineering from the bottom up

The structure was originally designed to be supported on stone columns.  After reviewing AIL’s system with the consultant and performing a seismic design, the original foundation was reconsidered.  Site-specific results indicated that the soil conditions were more favourable than previously assumed, so AIL could use a more cost-effective and relatively faster solution.

The new solution used Rapid Impaction Compaction (RIC) to create a densified crust in the foundation soils (up to 5 m below the footings), which met the seismic performance of the culvert and allowed for lower cost concrete strip footings. 


Sheet pile was installed to facilitate excavation on the edges of the watercourse – this had the secondary benefit of confining the foundation soils and offering a level of scour protection. 

The project was under a tight timeline requiring the project team to be organized to meet the completion dates. The AIL engineering and manufacturing teams worked closely with the customer to ensure that the project was moving ahead as planned and the product was delivered to the site well ahead of the contractor’s requirements. Post-project feedback from the owner’s consultant and the contractor has been very positive.

More about Super•Cor »


Name: Forensic Psychiatric Hospital
Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Owner: Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Engineer: McElhanney Consulting Services
Geotechnical Consultant: Thurber Engineering 
Finite Element Modeling Consultant: Naesgaard-Amini Geotechnical Limited
Contractor: Hall Constructors
Product: Super•Cor Arch
Application: Stream crossing for emergency access road
Dimensions: Span 11.42 m, Rise 4.21 m, Length 13.03 m
Installation Time  Five days for assembly, 10 days for backfill










Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2015 09:25

Hits: 4682

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