Ontario's first cable-stayed bridge: well connected with Ductal® UHPC

Nipigon River Bridge, Ontario, Canada

When the new Nipigon River Bridge is completed next year, it will make history as the first cable-stayed structure on the Ontario TransCanada Highway system.* Replacing an aging, two-lane structure, the new four-lane, double-span bridge will be impressive - with its bridge deck stretching 252m across the Nipigon River gorge. The innovative design includes three precast concrete towers with cables that support the precast concrete bridge deck and a separate pedestrian sidewalk. The center pier reaches 51m above the bridge deck and 75m above grade level. 


Nipigon in images

On-site casting of Ductal® UHPC. Photo Courtesy of Hatch Mott McDonald.

Situated east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in a remote area frequently exposed to harsh environmental conditions and heavy traffic, the project requires the use of high and ultra-high performance materials that provide superior strength and durability. To meet these requirements, the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) chose LafargeHolcim's Ductal® ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) to connect the precast tower segments to the cast-in-place tower segments, and the longitudinal and transverse joints (involving 480 precast concrete panels) to the steel girders and beams. Via portable plant in Nipigon, LafargeHolcim also provided cast-in-place ready-mix concrete for the center piers below deck level and in the abutments.

With the ability to attain 100+ MPa in less than 24 hours (on the structural connections), the Ductal® "Joint Fill" solution permits accelerated construction on the cable-stayed components; another important project requirement.
Aerial photo with artist's rendering of the new Nipigon River Bridge. Courtesy of MTO.

Note: MTO (Northwestern Region) was a collaborator and pioneer in the early development and use of field-cast Ductal® connections in North America. To date, they have used our "Joint Fill" solution on 78 completed projects, with 3 more to be completed this year. When completed, this project will have supported approximately 1,000+ jobs. According to Glen R. Murray, Minister of Transportation; "Our government is improving infrastructure across the province, which creates jobs and strengthens our economy. Projects such as this will help ensure our roads are safe and in good condition for years to come". *

*Source: http://news.ontario.ca/mndmf/en/2013/09/construction-underway-on-new-nipigon-river-bridge.html

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Nipigon project details

Bot Ferrovial Nipigon Joint Venture (BFNJV) is the General Contractor on the $106-million contract.
See their detailed project profile.

Access Project details (pdf, 951.12 KB)
Joint Fill

Ductal® joint fill connections provide durable, long-lasting solutions for bridge construction & rehabilitation projects that complement Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC).