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Our history

A French engineer's invention in 1963 developed a new composite material using earth as a raw material, which spawned the development of a company with offices across the five continents in just a few decades. Easy-to-use Reinforced Earth® technology quickly took hold as an ideal reinforced backfill solution in a number of applications, especially in the highways sector. However, the technology's inventor and Terre Armée's founder, Henri Vidal, had to draw on all his perseverance and charisma to advance his revolutionary idea to become a technological, human and entrepreneurial breakthrough.

Reinforced Earth Company Ltd. (RECo), the Canadian company established in April 1970, was the first commercially registered Reinforced Earth company in the world and is a subsidiary of the Terre Armee and Soletanche Freyssinet Group.  We are a leader in the design and supply of proprietary retaining wall systems. Our experience is proven in major highway, mining and infrastructure projects.

RECo first started its activities in Quebec, where projects were successfully and repeatedly proven for Ministry of Transportation Quebec (MTQ) on various highways across the province such as Highways 132, 440, 185, 15, 440 and 138. Other applications included projects for the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal, for Hydro Quebec at Manic Dam and James Bay.

RECo's westward service commenced in 1978, obtaining formal approvals from various Ministries of Transportation in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Significant Reinforced Earth structures were built in the early 1980's on projects such as the Burlington Skyway, Kananaskis Highway, Trans Canada Highway at Banff, Norquay, Vermillion and Jasper, as well as on Vancouver Island at Duncan. Other unique Reinforced Earth projects were built in industrial applications for a 45,000-tonne Obed Marsh coal storage facility for Union Oil up to 30 metres in height using sloped-panel technology, and large urban applications for the Ottawa Transit Way and LRT in Calgary during the same period.

RECo continued to receive transportation authorities' confidence in the mid 1980's where 59 projects were built in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec between 1994 and 1996. Over 235,000 square metres of numerous Reinforced Earth structures including bridge abutments were used on major highways such as the 115 km Coquihalla Highway, the 25 km Sea to Sky Highway 99 reconstruction in B.C. and the 30 km of coastal Route 132 in the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. Reinforced Earth industrial technologies were also introduced to large load supported truck dump projects in 1984 for Syncrude Canada Ltd. at Fort McMurray, while Edmonton Power selected RECo and successfully completed a 45,000-tonne coal storage project at Genesee.

RECo during the last three decades served our coast to coast Canadian customers with a diversified portfolio and more innovative technologies with TerraTrel, TechSpan precast arches and Underwater Walls. RECo's consistent ability and competitiveness are also evident by our participation across Canada in well known major projects, from the Vancouver Island Highway in B.C., the Syncrude and Suncor works at the North Mine, Steepbank and Millennium sites in Alberta, to the Highway 407 and LBPIA projects in Toronto, Ontario and the Highway 104 works in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada.

Since 1970, Reinforced Earth Company Ltd. (Canada) has served numerous satisfied and repeat clients, and has completed over 800 successful projects and over 870,000 square metres of Reinforced Earth and TechSpan structures from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. In 2005 RECo Canada expanded its geographical territory to include the islands of the Caribbean.

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Henri Vidal
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