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REM Light Railx1000
2024 Most distinguished Winner - REM Light Rail

CENTENNIAL, CO – On April 10th, the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) announced the winners of the 2024 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards during their Annual Conference in St. Thomas, USVI. Over 100 projects were submitted, representing various applications for hot-dip galvanizing. The finalists were judged online by a panel comprised of architects and engineers. All submissions and winners are featured in the AGA Project Gallery.

This year's highest honor, Most Distinguished, was awarded to the REM Light Rail in Montreal, Quebec. The REM is an automated driverless light rail system serving the commuter needs of the more than four million Canadians living in the Montreal urban area. The first phase opened in 2023 utilizing 1200 tons of HDG. The second phase opens in 2024 and will have 42 miles of line and 26 stations.

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The Great White Roller Coaster

The second most prestigious award, Lifetime Achievement, is presented to projects with a minimum of 15 years in service. The 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award was given to The Great White Roller Coaster in Wildwood, New Jersey. Hot-dip galvanizing was chosen to protect the coaster from the marine environment, since it is situated on a beachfront theme park. During high tide, parts of the ride go under water. Nearly 30 years later, this coaster still stands the test of time thanks to hot-dip galvanizing. Hurricanes, tropical storms, sandstorms, brutal winter freezes and thaws, battering from waves and high tides have been no match for the durability and corrosion protection offered by the metallurgically bonded zinc coating.

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Cincinnati Zoo Elephant Trek

Outside of the Lifetime Achievement Award, another Recreation project, Cincinnati Zoo Elephant Trek in Cincinnati, Ohio won the Recreation & Entertainment sector. Given the nature of zoo environments and the exposure to varying conditions, the protective layer of zinc formed through hot-dip galvanizing ensures a robust defense against rust and corrosion. The strength of HDG steel provides a secure enclosure for the endangered Asian Elephants, ensuring their well-being while offering an environmentally friendly option with its relatively low environmental impact.

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Horse Sculpture

There was another animal, albeit a sculpture, featured in this year’s Awards. The Horse Sculpture in Oakland, California took home the prize in the Artistic category. The sculpture was galvanized after fabrication and the artist worked closely with the galvanizer to develop a plan that involved the least amount of venting and drainage holes in discrete locations. There is a great video of the sculpture in the galvanizing kettle on its project gallery page.

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There were several Infrastructure projects awarded this year, starting with the Bridge & Highway Winner. The Mira Gut Bridge in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia received the Bridge & Highway award. The original bridge had served its purpose for more than 100 years but had fallen into disrepair, creating a need for the new structure to last a lifetime. Hot-dip galvanizing not only offered superior corrosion protection, but also a pristine, matte finish that enhanced the special features of the bridge. As a symbol of strength and unity in the community, the galvanizing was visually striking for those passing by.

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In addition to Bridge & Highway, there were two Power infrastructure projects awarded. Making the world a better place is a noble goal as sustainability is in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Rutgers Solar Canopy in New Brunswick, New Jersey, helps Rutgers University achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. The parking lots around campus provided a great opportunity to design a solar canopy to economically save space around campus, create shaded areas for heat island areas, and to provide cover from snow and precipitation in the winter months in the Northeast.

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Similar to solar power, wind energy is a huge part of generating clean energy, as the winner of the Water & Marine category shows. Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd. built South Fork Offshore Substation to serve Long Island, New York. The substation will play a key role in enabling domestic energy production, strengthening America’s energy independence, and adding to the nation’s energy mix.

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Central Station Main Works - Sydney Metro

Finally, within the Infrastructure markets, there were two other transit-oriented projects awarded this year. The Central Station Sydney, Metro project, a $955 million endeavor, aimed to revitalize and expand Australia's busiest commuter hub, won the International award. With a design lifespan of 100 years, the choice to hot-dip galvanize was paramount. It provided not only durability but also ease of maintenance and minimal environmental impact.

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Norfolk Southern AI Train Inspection Portal

The Norfolk Southern AI Train Inspection Portal in Leetonia, Ohio won the transportation category, perfectly blending transit and technological advancements. The inspection portals will enhance rail safety by capturing 360-degree images of the passing rail cars at speeds up to 70 MPH detecting things (brakes, leaks, bearings) which are difficult to detect with the human eye. The first portal was installed on busy tracks in Leetonia, Ohio, less than 15 miles from where a train derailed in East Palestine in February 2023.

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Mini Pitch Systems

Another project displaying ingenuity was the winner of the Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) category. Musco Sports Lighting’s Mini-Pitch System™ was designed to help create safer places to play in areas with limited space. Designed to be both low-maintenance and durable, the Mini-Pitch System uses a protective galvanized finish that can withstand a wide range of climates and weather conditions. The innovative, all-in-one modular sport court system offers an ideal solution for communities to rejuvenate abandoned courts and underutilized areas, creating a fun and active place for local youth and families to come together to play.

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Hilton College Station, TX - Remodel

Outside of the Rutgers Solar Canopy, two other projects with University ties were awarded. The Hilton College Station, Texas – Remodel won for Building & Architecture. This remodel was not only aimed at revitalizing the aging building but also ensuring its long-term durability and aesthetic appeal for future students and community members to enjoy. The entire steel infrastructure of the project, including columns, braces, and sunshades were hot-dip galvanized. The distinctive "Aggie gray" color was achieved, making the Hilton College Station a standout landmark.

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Ryan Gray Playground Pavilion

For the third time, University of Kansas Architecture students won the Civic Contribution category. During the fall semester of 2023, KU Architecture students collaborated with the Hillcrest Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) to fundraise, design, and build the Ryan Gray Playground Pavilion. The pleated form of the pavilion follows the existing curved concrete slab and picnic benches to seamlessly blend in with the existing ADA accessible playground.

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Hickory Riverwalk Pedestrian Bridge

Many specifiers seek out the modern, industrial look of hot-dip galvanized steel; however, some projects call for a softer aesthetic and/or additional corrosion protection. This is often accomplished by using a Duplex System - paint or powder coating over hot-dip galvanized steel. This year, the Hickory Riverwalk Pedestrian Bridge in Hickory, North Carolina was honored with the Duplex System award. The elevated walkway is well integrated into the adjacent landscape, thanks to the Duplex coating and provides visitors with a spectacular view of the river and nearby mountains.

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Eureka Stone Quarry Conveyor

Another hidden, but critical use of hot-dip galvanized steel is in the aggregates and asphalt industry as demonstrated by the winner of the Industrial Award. The Eureka Stone Quarry Conveyor in Chalfont, Pennsylvania needed a heavy-duty solution for an extra-large conveyor and hopper assembly that will provide them with increased production and logistical solutions at their facility. They chose hot-dip galvanizing as the coating, reflecting a commitment to durability.

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Cage Free Chicken Building

Finally, two projects were honored in Food and Agriculture this year, both focusing on ingenuity and durability. The Cage Free Chicken Building in Malcolm, Iowa is a state-of -the-art, 1350-ton chicken layer facility that adheres to stringent food safety protocols. The egg process facility ensures their products are fresh, safe, and reliable, making HDG a perfect fit for their standards.

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Agpro Waste Management

Agpro Waste Management in Paris, Texas specializes in providing sustainable waste management solutions for agricultural industries. In the dynamic field of agriculture, the use of a durable and reliable coating is crucial to ensure productivity and sustainability. This extended lifespan and minimal maintenance translates into significant cost savings for dairy farmers, as they can avoid frequent repairs or replacements of essential components and allocate their time and resources more efficiently towards other pressing tasks on the farm.

With its aesthetic appeal, durability, and sustainability hot-dip galvanized steel has proven to be an excellent choice for construction projects of all shapes and sizes. To see more hot-dip galvanized steel projects including other submissions to the 2024 competition and past winners, please visit the AGA Project Gallery.

Contact AGA Senior Marketing Coordinator Rebecca Spodick for more information, high quality images, or specific project articles.

Complete List of Winners, by Category:

Most DistinguishedREM Light Rail

Montreal, Quebec

Corbec - Montreal

Lifetime AchievementThe Great White Roller CoasterWildwood, New JerseyV&S Columbus Galvanizing
ArtisticHorse SculptureOakland, CaliforniaPacific Galvanizing
Bridge & HighwayMira Gut BridgeCape Breton, Nova Scotia

Valmont Coatings - Pure Metal Galvanizing Brantford
& Pure Metal Galvanizing Mississauga

Building & ArchitectureHilton College Station RemodelCollege Station, TexasValmont Coatings - United Galvanizing
Civic ContributionRyan Gray Playground PavilionTopeka, KansasAZZ Galvanizing - Kansas City
Duplex SystemsHickory Riverwalk Pedestrian BridgeHickory, North CarolinaDuncan Galvanizing Corp.
Electrical, Utility, & Communication

Rutgers Solar Canopy

New Brunswick, New Jersey

V&S Lebanon Galvanizing
Food & AgricultureCage Free Chicken BuildingMalcolm, IowaV&S Columbus Galvanizing
Food & Agriculture

Agpro Waste Management

Paris, Texas

AZZ Galvanizing - Waskom


Eureka Stone Quarry Conveyor

Chalfont, Pennsylvania

Young Galvanizing, Inc.


Central Station Main Works

Sydney, AustraliaValmont Coatings
Original Equipment ManufacturingMini Pitch SystemsOklahoma City, OklahomaAZZ Galvanizing - Peoria
Recreation & Entertainment

Cincinnati Zoo Elephant Trek

Cincinnati, OhioAZZ Galvanizing - Hamilton
TransportationNorfolk Southern AI Train Inspection PortalLeetonia, OhioV&S Columbus Galvanizing
Water & MarineSouth Fork Offshore SubstationLong Island, New YorkZINKPOWER USA - Waco