By David Reed, UT EditorBoucherville, Ontario-Solicor, the business unit of Canam Group Inc. specialised in the fabrication and marketing of the Sandwich Plate System (SPS) technology, has successfully completed its first bridge deck replacement project in Ontario. SPS is a structural product composed of two steel plates bonded to a solid elastomer core, a concept developed by Intelligent Engineering, also of Canada, in conjunction with Elastogran GmbH of Germany. This product is light and simple to construct and substantially reduces the weight and overall cost of infrastructures, while increasing their service life, a statement from Solicor claimed. SPS has been developed over the last 12 years for the maritime and civil engineering sectors, and there are currently 42 000 m2 of SPS structures in service around the world, the statement added.Canam Group says it obtained a licence from Intelligent Engineering in 2003 to allow it to fabricate and market this new patented technology for mid- and long-span bridge deck construction and other civil engineering applications in North America.The new deck, 7.5 m wide by 11.3 m long, was built for the municipality of Port Hope, east of Toronto from two prefabricated SPS panels. It was erected 30 cm above the existing debilitated concrete deck, with the longitudinal SPS panels resting on the existing concrete abutments at both ends of the bridge. The two SPS panels as well as the four integrated girders were fabricated at Solicor's Laval, Quebec plant.For the Port Hope authorities, SPS technology was a quick, simple and economical solution, the Canam statement indicated. Installing the SPS bridge deck above the existing concrete deck meant that no alterations were required to the existing substructure, the statement emphasised. The use of prefabricated panels also made it possible to reduce total project costs significantly compared to traditional repair methods, the Canadian firm added."Winning this contract confirms that our market development strategy in Ontario is working and that the municipalities and engineers in the province recognise the advantages of using SPS technology for bridge rehabilitation and construction," said Luc Pelland, president of Solicor. "Given our breakthrough in Port Hope, we are confident that new bridge contracts in Ontario will follow," he added."The installation and finishing work went smoothly, taking two days instead of the predicted three, so we are delighted with the results," said David Croteau, technical director for Solicor."