Canadian Society for Civil Engineering

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering

October 19, 2007 18:16 ET

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Reacts to the Report of the Commission on the Concorde Overpass Collapse

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2007) - As a Learned Society, the CSCE's mission is to promote the advancement of professional knowledge and the practice of civil engineering," said Dr. Lloyd Waugh, President of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. He went on to say, "we would like to congratulate the Commission for thoroughly investigating the disaster and for presenting an objective report dealing with critical issues regarding the safety, serviceability, durability, operations and maintenance of our transportation infrastructure."

CSCE has as one of its main objectives the enhancement of civil engineering in Canada and focuses on the transfer of research results and information about professional practice and technology. As such, we encourage new designs and construction and we note that the Commission recognized that the innovative concept, at the time the Concorde overpass was built, was not a concern. Rather, the Commission blamed the collapse on the faulty placement of the reinforcement, the lax supervision of the construction and the deficiencies of the ongoing maintenance.

The Society notes that the Commission recommends a focus on quality assurance and quality control in the construction, design, and maintenance of such projects. In particular, we are pleased with the recommendation on updating of standards, acquisition and dissemination of knowledge and related training. The Commission's recommendation for dedicated funding of the rehabilitation of bridges is timely.

CSCE believes that more effort should be devoted to the education, training, certification, and continuing education of inspectors during the construction and ongoing maintenance. CSCE also feels that applied research within the industry has, and will continue to, identify new technologies for the early detection of this type of failure and the problems associated with the durability of Canada's civil infrastructure. For years the CSCE has lobbied and developed multiple strategies for governments to invest in safeguarding our aging infrastructure.

CSCE is pleased to note that the Government of Quebec has accepted the report and has initiated actions to implement it. We recommend that the Government of Quebec shares the Report with other Provincial Governments and the Federal Government, urging them to follow suit.

Founded in 1887, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering is a national, not-for-profit, learned society. It is dedicated to providing civil engineers with opportunities to increase their professional development through continuing education, networking, advocacy, and publications. CSCE complements the role of the provincial associations of professional engineers, even more so now than in the past, due to the implementation of mandatory continuing education for engineers in many provinces. With a National Office in Montreal, CSCE is comprised of 21 sections across Canada, one branch in Hong Kong, and many technical and interdisciplinary committees.

For more information contact:


Mr. Georges Archer, Eng. is a Fellow and former President of the Society. He has been involved as a consulting engineer in the design, the construction supervision and the rehabilitation of several bridges. Many were built during the same period as the Concord overpass.

(514) 397-9222

Dr Saeed Mirza, Eng., Professor of Civil Engineering at McGill University, past President of CSCE and Fellow of CSCE, Canadian Academy of Engineering, EIC and ACI. Research and professional interests in response and durability of materials and infrastructure in aggressive environments, along with a deep commitment to socio-economic, environmental, management, financial and other issues related to infrastructure.

(514) 398-6862


Dr. Roger Dorton, P. Eng., has spent 50 years in bridge engineering, split between the public and private sectors. He has specialized in bridge design, rehabilitation and code development. In 2004 he received membership in the Order of Canada.

(416) 493-5898

Dr. Ghani Razaqpur P.Eng , past President and Fellows of CSCE holds the Effective Design of Structures Chair and serves as the chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at McMaster University. He has been involved in research, teaching and consulting work related to bridge analysis and design, concrete structures and their durability over the past 25 years.

(905) 525-9140 ext 24912

Atlantic Canada:

Dr.John Newhook,P.Eng., Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Dalhousie University, represents Atlantic region on several CSCE Structures related committees and initiatives. Member of several Canadian Highway Bridge Code Design sub-committees, experienced in bridge design, research, testing and structural monitoring.

(902) 494-5160

Dr Lloyd Waugh, P.Eng., President and Fellow of the CSCE and professor at the University of New Brunswick.

(506) 453-5050

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