Latest News

OPS.MUNI.909 - Precast Prestressed Concrete Girders

May 18, 2021

John Stephenson, P.Eng

Chair of OPS Structures Committee

The OPS Structures Committee recently met on May 11, 2021.  The current (and contentious) OPSS.MUNI.909 (2019) was on the agenda.


The feedback from the Consulting industry is consistent with what we have been hearing; specifically, few suppliers and inflated prices. The feedback from the Contractors/Suppliers is similar, with many pre-casters getting out of the girder business.


CPCI, as industry representative, gave a presentation to the Committee.  They noted a number of issues their members had with supplying pre-cast girders.  Some of these were tied to OPSS 909 (mostly PROV, though it’s similar to MUNI).  Other issues were tied to the recent tendency for some inspectors to reject girders for even slight out-of-tolerance issues; e.g., a girder rejected outright due to concrete cover at certain locations being 49mm, rather than the desired minimum of 50mm.  CPCI proposed the formation of a broad-based working group to look at specific issues with OPSS 909 and to see if resolution is possible.

After CPCI departed, the Committee discussed various options to move forward.  There was a desire to examine OPSS 909 issue-by-issue with an eye toward refinements that would improve industry supply and competition while preserving quality; however, it was recognized that this could take some time to allow for information gathering and consultations.  There was also a desire to take steps to set the stage for improvements for the 2022 construction season.  It was also noted that there were no known outstanding bona fide issues with pre-cast girder quality under the old OPSS.MUNI.909 (2017); however, the 2019 MUNI was influenced by changes that MTO was making to the PROV.


Accordingly, the Committee is proposing the following steps:

(1)  The previous (2017) OPSS.MUNI.909 will be updated to remove references to the defunct QVE system and to update references to other specifications (OPSS, CSA, ASTM, etc.).  This updated OPSS.MUNI.909 (2017) will be released as OPSS.MUNI.909 (2021) in the November release.  This will supersede OPSS.MUNI.909 (2019) which is the bone of contention.  This should alleviate supply and competition issues.

(2)  The Committee will solicit comments, presentations and discussions from/with industry representatives, pre-casters, MTO, researchers, etc., with the goal of determining what refinements can be justified in a subsequent OPSS.MUNI.909 for release in a subsequent year.


If there are no objections to this course of action, the Committee will continue along these lines. Please feel free to contact the Committe Chair to discuss any facets of the above issue.

John Stephenson, P.Eng
Chair of OPS Structures Committee