When the crews began restoring the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in Vancouver, one of the biggest, unexpected factors that could affect the construction plan was neither weather nor labor shortages.

It was pelagic cormorants, a sea bird protected by the BC Wildlife Act. The crews were not allowed to work within 50 meters of any of the birds or a nest.

Michal Brondel, CEO of Tatras, explained that the introduction of stricter environmental regulations and the need to work on aging infrastructure led the company to develop technical network systems. Tatras specializes in rope access contracts, including the installation of the systems.

The bird exclusion net prevents birds from nesting in building areas, so that work can be carried out during the breeding season. The nets are made from UV stabilized polyethylene to withstand coastal environments and blend into the bridge.

But Brondel said the real innovation was the installation. The mesh solution does not have to be drilled into a structure, but is based on user-defined clamps and magnets. Brondel noted that the Tatras also need to take wind load into account and make sure the nets fit exactly over the desired area.

TATRAS GROUP – The Tatras Group crews are installing a bird net to prevent over-nesting of birds on the Granville Bridge in Vancouver. The work supported rehab and seismic upgrades for the bridge.

“Access is the most complex part,” said Brondel. “There is often no scaffolding and it has to be made out of the ropes by highly qualified and certified people. There are a number of factors, but each bridge is unique. “

The company also makes heavier nets to prevent dirt from hitting environmentally sensitive areas, people or objects.

“Environmental advisors were not that fragile in this area until a few years ago,” said Brondel. “It seems that everyone is much more sensitive to the environment. And the last thing a company wants is to be on the news. “

Brondel said calls for environmental measures such as bird or debris nets have increased and the Tatra Mountains intend to expand beyond western Canada. He noted that the company sees the opportunity to use systems for highway and canyon projects.

“This work is important because if we don’t do it, that’s infrastructure dollars that come out of taxpayers’ pockets,” Brondel said. “If we can’t look after these things, maintain them and extend their lifespan, they’re expensive to replace. If we miss this opportunity because of environmental issues, we risk having to replace it. “

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