ABS News

City of Calgary uses Fusion-Crete® to Beat the Cash Crunch in Concrete Repairs

The City of Calgary has recently become the first urban municipality in Canada to begin training its public works crews in the application of Fusion-Crete®, a compound used to restore damaged or deteriorating concrete.

BEFORE: A City of Calgary sidewalk with longitudinal cracks
BEFORE: A City of Calgary sidewalk with longitudinal cracks

After fully analyzing the results of eight years of Fusion-Crete® use, Mike Wierzbicki, the public works district manager for the City of Calgary Northeast, believes the overlay system (see next article for a description) is a viable longterm solution, especially when a crack-stitch repair is part of the process. Thanks to the solid results obtained, six out of seven public works districts will train one to two crews in Fusion-Crete® application.

AFTER: Sidewalk renewed with crack stitching and Fusion-Crete® systems.
AFTER: Sidewalk renewed with crack stitching and Fusion-Crete® systems.

Wierzbicki’s jurisdiction is a public works manager’s nightmare come true. Large pockets of the district are built over wetlands. This is a growing concern because the district encompasses a total area the size of the cities of Red Deer and Lethbridge combined.

Unstable soil conditions coupled with rapid construction of concrete infrastructure create ripe conditions for concrete damage.

Mike Wierzbicki knew he needed a long-term solution to deal with the challenges presented by the movement of concrete slabs. These challenges include frost heaving and settlement along with freeze-thaw damage.

Complicating matters the public works managers are also dealing with aging infrastructure and the public’s expectation of top quality construction.

“Promising Results”…says Wierzbicki, Public Works District Manager for the City of Calgary Northeast

The Public Works District Manager was introduced to the Fusion-Crete® overlay system at a live demonstration at a public works trade show in 1993. This product seemed to promise answers. Wierzbicki, impressed with the demonstration, showing movement of a flexible concrete product applied to a piece of hardboard, knew he had to explore it further. He contacted Michael McLeod, P.Eng. owner of ABS Concrete Systems Ltd. (formerly Re-New Surface Systems, Alberta) the Canadian distributor and expert applicator of the Fusion-Crete® product and overlay system.

The Fusion-Crete® overlay system promised to take care of concrete failures due to movement while providing better cost, time, and resource efficiencies. With the support of his superiors, Wierzbicki began testing the overlay system at some problem sites in 1993.

“Promising results” were reported from the start. Would it stand the test of time? Eight years later, those repairs still hold without any additional movement. The life of the concrete slab has been extended saving the city time, labour and material costs typically associated with removal and replacement.

Wierzbicki knew full acceptance at the city, for this system, would take time due to its lack of proven history in the Canadian environment and the failures some managers had experienced with other products. This year increased numbers of concrete failures throughout all districts, has led to an understanding that the Fusion-Crete® overlay system will help public works managers stay on top of concrete slab problems with appropriate training and application.

Asked what advice he would give to other towns and cities, Wierzbicki states, “it is a simple process that requires some finesse-the applicator has to feel it and want it to work. Attention to detail is imperative. Escalating costs of removal and replacement make it impossible to keep up with repairs. Fusion- Crete® is a win-win solution; public concern and standards are met while achieving very cost effective results.”

BEFORE: City of Calgary sidewalk with random cracking
BEFORE: City of Calgary sidewalk with random cracks

AFTER: The same section of sidewalk renewed using crack stitching and Fusion-Crete® systems.
AFTER: The same section of sidewalk renewed using crack stitching and Fusion-Crete® systems.