Heavy Construction 101

What is heavy construction?

The heavy construction industry has a big job to do. In large part, it physically builds much of the essential  ‘infrastructure’ that supports our communities, country and quality of life. Roads, water systems, mass transportation, airport runways, parks and utilities are all examples of infrastructure. Infrastructure is critical for any community to function and achieve economic growth.

Who owns the infrastructure?

Much of our infrastructure is publicly owned. The heavy construction industry is hard at work and responsible for:

  • Construction of new municipal roads, sidewalks, parks, water and sewer lines
  • Repairing and replacing infrastructure in existing communities
  • Construction of new highways, bridges, and overpasses, or widening and repairing existing highways
  • Construction of transportation systems, such as airport runways, bus lanes and active transportation

The industry supports the building of large projects, both public and private. Mines, hydroelectric plants and shopping malls as just a few examples.

Related Facts
  • Municipalities own, build and maintain over 50% of Canada’s infrastructure, from roads and bridges, to water and sewer systems to parks, building and recreational facilities.
  • Manitoba is an ideal trade and transportation hub. It is geographically located in the centre of the mid-content trade corridor and offers 24 hour seamless, multi-modal road, air and rail transportation systems.
  • Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CentrePort Canada is North America’s new 20,000-acre inland port that has been designated Canada’s first Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).
  • Manitoba has 2400 bridges and structures on the provincial highway system, of which 1250 are bridges. The other structures include large culverts and overhead sign structures throughout the province.
  • In 1963 contract were awarded for the construction of the Red River Floodway, the largest earth-moving project at the time ever in Canada.
  • In the 1890s it was decided that avenues in Winnipeg should generally run east and west and streets should generally run north and south. This is still in effect.
  • For a brief period in 1891, Winnipeg started to adopt numbered street names. McDermot became 1st Avenue North; Bannatyne was 2nd Avenue, for example. In 1893, all streets were reverted to their historical names.
  • 80% of Manitoba’s merchandise trade with U.S. is shipped by truck – approximately 400,000 commercial trucks cross the MB – U.S. border each year.
  • The border crossing at Emerson processes about $16.0 billion in trade traffic annually (2008), more than any other border crossing in Western Canada, and 5th largest in Canada.
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