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Local firm up for award


The extensive work George Armstrong Co. Ltd. has been doing on a major bridge rehabilitation project here has not gone unnoticed.

“Our company has been nominated for, and awarded, a finalist position in a contest called ‘Crews that Rock,’” noted owner Shane Armstrong.

“This is a contest that is put on by the ‘World of Concrete,’ which is a major international industry event dedicated to commercial concrete and masonry industries,” he explained.

“Crews that Rock” aims to recognize hard-working crews and the projects they do.

George Armstrong Co. Ltd. recently completed work on the Noden Causeway, a three-structure bridge on Highway 11 that spans Rainy Lake.

“My grandfather, [the late] George Armstrong, founded the company in 1952,” said Shane Armstrong.

“I miss him every day and strive to run the company the way he did, with a focus on teamwork, safety, and helping people solve a problem,” he remarked.

“My grandfather and father’s company built the Noden Causeway from 1960-1965,” he added.

It seems fitting then that the same company also is responsible for restoring it.

Armstrong said the story began in 2005 when the Ontario Ministry of Transportation noticed an urgent need to rehabilitate the Noden Causeway.

“The MTO faced two challenges,” he recalled. “The first was to design a rehabilitation of the superstructure that would add a considerable ‘dead load’ to the bridge by the placement of pre-cast concrete deck panels.

“And the second was to reinforce the 856 concrete tube pile substructure support.

“Upon design investigation, it had been discovered that a microorganism had inadvertently entered the waters of Rainy Lake and was attacking the bridge structure in the waterline area and was causing extensive corrosion,” Armstrong continued.

“The MTO issued a time aggressive tender as they wanted the pile repair work to be completed post haste since this work had to be completed before the much-needed superstructure work could commence,” he explained.

After the company was awarded the contract, Armstrong said they had to brainstorm “to evaluate how to meet the challenges and time constraints of the project.”

“In order to complete the project successfully, we had to consider the following challenges in developing our approach: corrosion, weather, scheduling, customized materials, international material procurement, and logistics/project co-ordination,” he noted.

“My crew rocks because in the final analysis, they worked together to come up with the solution, completed it safely without any breakdowns or failure, and successfully completing 36,000 man hours of labour,” Armstrong lauded.

“The primary stakeholder and governing authority, the MTO, was very pleased that our work was completed one year ahead of schedule and to the required specifications.”

For the bridge rehabilitation, Armstrong bought materials from BASF—The Chemical Company, which sponsors the “Crews that Rock” contest.

BASF suggested they enter the international contest and now George Armstrong Co. Ltd. is one of 38 finalists.

The winners will be selected through public voting on

George Armstrong Co. Ltd. is listed under the commercial/for-profit.

“I am asking for your support in garnering a vote for us,” said Armstrong.

“Winning this award would provide us with a tremendous amount of exposure and pride.”

Online voting will continue through midnight on Dec. 28. Winners in all categories will be notified during the first week of January.

“We have a lot of contacts and we feel that we have a good chance of winning,” Armstrong remarked.

“We appreciate everyone’s efforts to vote for us.”

The winning crew will be sent to Las Vegas to visit the “World of Concrete” event.

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