Between 2005 and March 2014, Alberta Transportation invested more than $1.4 billion in various Highway 63 and Highway 881 projects. The public has benefited from wider roads, replacement bridges and new connections. That massive infrastructure investment has also helped young companies such as Innovative Civil Constructors cement their reputations in the Canadian building scene.

Innovative Civil Constructors incorporated in July 2011. Although the company itself is new, it is led by three men who have nearly a century of combined experience in the construction industry. CEO Derek Martin has spent more than 20 years in civil construction, working on structure rehabilitation and new bridge construction. Derek Stunden, executive vice president, has worked on heavy civil construction projects for more than three decades. Gary Van Norden, vice president estimating and controls, specializes in estimating and project management for projects from $100,000 up to $100 million.

The ability to collaborate is essential in construction. Contractors Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. and McNally International Inc. are showing they have that capacity as they work together in a joint venture on the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax Jetty Replacement project in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Our contractors are both specialists in their field,” declares Lorne Oram, a project manager for the Department of National Defence. “Dexter is one of the largest excavators in the province and McNally specializes in marine structures.”

The project, Oram describes, consists of a new 247-metre-long jetty on the waterfront of Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard. “It’s going to be built on a location where there were jetties before,” he says.

Replacement of the John Hart Generating Station near the Campbell River on Vancouver Island in British Columbia is a considerable undertaking for BC Hydro. The project includes construction of a power station designed to achieve three goals: maintain power generation reliability, improve earthquake resistance and respond to environmental concerns, says BC Hydro Project Communications Lead Stephen Watson.

“The reliability of the current station is still hanging on, but the equipment is in poor condition – it’s old,” Watson explains. He adds that the generating station, which began operating in 1947, was built to last decades, but the time has come for BC Hydro to deal with the three project drivers.

North America’s urgent infrastructure needs continue to increase, and Flatiron Construction Corp. has become an industry leader in successfully delivering on what Senior Project Manager Ken Tanner calls “mega-infrastructure projects.” “What differentiates Flatiron in the industry is the work that we do and the large design/build and P3 projects that we take on,” he adds. “We manage them through alternative delivery methods.”

For more than six decades, the Richmond, British Columbia-based division of Flatiron has worked for a wide range of clients throughout North America. Its strong management team and proven procedures have enabled Flatiron to safely deliver projects on time and on budget. The company’s in-house engineers work closely with clients to create safe, cost-effective solutions with minimal environmental impacts because it self-performs a majority of the field work. “The best way to control a project’s safety, cost, schedule and quality is to perform as much of the work as possible with your own forces,” the company says.

Not much could get done in the private or public sectors without the infrastructure that everyone depends on, and this makes the work that Titanium Contracting Inc. does throughout Ontario extremely important. Co-founder and Vice President Steve Foster says that, similarly, the quality work Titanium Contracting performs wouldn’t be possible without the talented and qualified people who form the infrastructure of the company. As it continues to build on its reputation as one of the province’s most capable and diversified contractors, Foster says, Titanium Contracting understands the value its people bring to the company every day. 

Foster was one of several professionals who were working for another contractor in Ontario before making the decision to strike out on their own in 2012. With the principals’ experience and expertise in the heavy equipment general contracting world, they were able to have Titanium Contracting up and running within four months of making their initial pitch to investors. 

For every construction project, collaborations are essential as people work together to achieve a common goal. Over the past eight years, Flatiron Construction Corp. and Graham have successfully partnered on several projects, including the Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) Transmission Project, which is underway in British Columbia.

The $400 million project consists of a 250-kilometer transmission line with 594 towers that will add redundancy to BC Hydro’s electrical grid, Flatiron-Graham JV Project Manager Ken Tanner says. When finished, the line will expand the capacity of the transmission circuits that send power from resources in the north and southern interior of the province to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

STRABAG International is one of the largest and most active construction companies in Europe and 10 years ago it expanded its reach to the Canadian market. The company brought with it years of tunneling expertise that were used in 2005 on the Niagara Tunnel and today to build the Mid-Halton Outfall Tunnel. 

“I think our expertise and the different European methods we brought [to Canada] is what sets STRABAG apart,” Project Manager Terry McNulty says. “Our experts have been all over the world. They bring best practices and knowledge they have gained from different parts of the world to North America.”

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