MoT issues policy memo setting new 500MPa standard for reinforcing steel

can stock photo steel rebar

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MoT) is increasing the yield strength requirement for reinforcing steel on its projects.

In a memo, the MoT’s Standards and Contracts Branch says new projects will now need to  use 500 MPa steel reinforcement, an increase from the old 400 MPa standard, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) – Ontario reported in its July 22 newsletter.

“The ministry is specifying that all contracts tendered after April 1, 2024, use 500W reinforcing steel and structural designs shall be based on 500 MPa yield strength,” the memo says.

The memo also outlines transitional provisions including:

  • Contracts to be tendered prior to April 1, 2022, shall have structural designs based on, and shall continue to specify, 400W reinforcing steel.

FOR Contracts to be tendered between April 1, 2022, and April 1, 2024, the provisions are:

  • For new contracts and contracts that are currently in design but have not gone past 30% completion, the structural design shall make use of 500MPa yield strength and 500W reinforcing steel shall be specified.
  • For contracts that are between 30% and 60% completion, the Structural Section shall decide on a project-specific basis whether 400W or 500W shall be used on the contract.
  • For contracts that have been prepared beyond 60%, it is not necessary to make changes to the contract if design has been based on 400W.

For an individual contract, when possible, only one of the two grades is to be specified.
Additional details are included in the ministry policy memo which is available on the Project Management Best Practices website (, under Reference Materials/Structural/Policy Memos—HSB Engineering Memorandum—Bridge Office.


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