Every month, 200,000 transport trucks cross the border from Mexico into Laredo, Texas using the city’s four international bridges. Each of these trucks stops at a local warehouse to load or unload, resulting in a high demand for durable, multi-use facilities.

Park Avenue Construction is one of Laredo’s leading general contractors, in charge of building these essential facilities. “We are a design/build construction company for the local industrial market,” says Gary Chatham, Director of Corporate Development with Park Avenue Construction. “We’ve been around for 30 years, and we like to innovate. We like to be out-front with new ideas and better ways, always looking for new efficient, sustainable ways to do construction.”


Always looking for ways to build better, the construction company started using Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement just recently. 

Taking the First Step in Improving Concrete Reinforcement

“A few years ago, there was a spike in steel prices that affected our bottom line,” Chatham recalls. “We had a huge warehouse designed on old prices and the costs for us significantly increased. We realized that with rebar prices being so unreliable, we needed to find alternatives.”

Park Avenue Construction’s management had seen Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement used elsewhere, and had already done their research, so they contacted Helix Steel to learn more. Although their own engineers were hesitant to trust the one-inch twisted steel rods over the much-larger and well-known rebar, the results quickly proved that the decision to choose Helix Steel was a wise one.

Luke Pinkerton, Helix Steel’s President and Chief Technology Officer, communicated the benefits and characteristics of Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement and walked the general contractor’s team through the product, processes and expected results, which greatly helped to alleviate concerns.

“Once we understood the structural integrity of the reinforcement it was a pretty easy decision to make, and a pretty easy thing to do,” says Chatham. “The first time we used it was in a small 30,000-square-foot parking area at a refrigerated warehouse. The owners realized they needed more parking than they originally wanted because they also have a trucking company. After we poured the concrete with Micro Rebar we told them not to drive trucks on it for a week, but I guess that message wasn’t passed on, because two days after we poured it, they had it covered with trucks. We were afraid to see the damage, but there wasn’t a single crack. We couldn’t believe it.”

General Contractors Know That Saving Time and Money Involves Doing More With Less

With Park Avenue Construction’s engineers in agreement over the durability of Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, they worked with Helix Steel’s engineering team to create further dosage efficiencies. Today, Chatham says that they can lay it as cost effectively as asphalt.

Park Avenue Construction recently completed a 20-acre paving project, and saved 73 days of construction time by not having to install rebar and tie the steel. That resulted in more than just time savings – there were significant cost savings, and gave Park Avenue Construction the opportunity to work on more projects in a year.

“Our subcontractor needs a fraction of their usual crew, and Micro Rebar lets the concrete truck do all of the work,” says Chatham. “All we need to do is back up the truck and dump it out where concrete is needed for the slab. It creates tremendous savings in both labor and time. The material costs a little more per square foot, but when you factor in the savings it makes it much more cost effective.”

The Engineering Behind the Product

The affordability, schedule reductions and labor savings are of course reason enough to consider Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, but for many general contractors, it is the engineering that sells them on it. 

“Anyone can claim product benefits,” says Chatham. “But Helix Steel worked on the engineering with us to determine the right loads and product dosages. Now we don’t need to do the math every time; We have an established dosage just from the experience of working with Helix Steel.”

Park Avenue Construction’s General Contractors Are Doing More and Growing Faster

With five projects on the go right now, Park Avenue Construction is showing no signs of slowing down, and is about to sign a contract for a 300,000-square-foot “tilt-up” warehouse that will all be built with concrete panels and paved with Helix® Micro Rebar-infused concrete. 

The future relies on businesses operating smarter than ever before, so owners and builders like Park Avenue Construction must use the most advanced products available. Chatham understands this well and sees Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement becoming the new standard for many concrete applications. They value it so much, they’re also a distributor, selling the product to other general contractors throughout Texas.

General Contractors Understand That Helix® Micro Rebar Reinforcement Makes Sense

To learn more about how Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today or continue exploring our website to discover past concrete reinforcement projects, applications and the many benefits of working with Helix Steel

In a time when every contractor is seeking substantial savings while simultaneously innovating their business and keeping an eye on improving product lifespans, one business is stepping up to innovate concrete reinforcement: Helix Steel. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is the innovative solution that replaces the standard concrete reinforcement that hinders so many construction projects. From parking lots to concrete walls to warehouse floors, the concrete reinforcement applications are practically endless, outmatching rebar, mesh and fibers available in the market today.

So, what exactly is Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement? Instead of unmanageable lengths of rusty metal, it is a simple one-inch piece of steel, twisted and mixed with thousands of others into concrete before it is poured into forms, providing strength to practically every inch of the finished concrete structure.

Michigan-based Helix Steel invented Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, and has seen its product used as a vital component in over 10,000 concrete structures including mid-rise apartment buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and even Seattle’s famous Ferris wheel. Every step of the construction process benefits from the product, but it is contractors who have seen some of the greatest benefits. 

Saving Time with Concrete Reinforcement Upgrades

As a contractor you have the fortunate opportunity to work on projects that have significant impacts on people’s daily lives. Undertaking such important tasks means that contractors are always under pressure to stay on track, even when there are disruptive scheduling delays, such as fixing rebar installation errors, waiting for rebar inspections and finding experienced crew members. They are looking for ways to automate construction processes.

Contractors who have experienced working with Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement firsthand appreciate the significant jobsite time savings, which often results to be one full day cut from a schedule for every 10,000 square feet. For projects that use tilt-up construction, 50% of each panel’s preparation time is saved!

Concrete Reinforcement With Fewer Laborers and Errors

It’s not something that contractors always like to talk about, but the laborers who install rebar and mesh have gruelling jobs. They need to have strong backs, years of experience and wisdom in the ways of placement. It’s a daunting task, which often results in a labor market that’s fluid and small. 

Since Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is poured directly into the cement mixer, there’s no need to rebar installation nor the installers who would normally do the work. This results in a simpler worksite, with fewer health and safety issues, reduced claims, less placement errors, and significantly cheaper costs!

“Our subcontractor needs a fraction of their usual crew, and Micro Rebar lets the concrete truck do all of the work,” says Gary Chatham, Director of Corporate Development at Park Avenue Construction. “All we need to do is back up the truck and dump it out where concrete is needed for the slab. It creates tremendous savings in labor time. The material costs a little more per square foot, but when you factor in the labor savings it makes it much more cost effective.”

Improving Construction Crew Safety

It’s a contractor’s worst nightmare: a preventable jobsite incident that results in injury, lost time and lost money. Injury prevention is crucial to the success of any project, but in today’s complex construction environments, it’s becoming increasingly expensive and time consuming to focus on. By shrinking crew sizes, reducing the use of heavy equipment and minimizing contact with steel, a safer jobsite is possible. 

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforced concrete can replace up to 100% of rebar in a project, and since it is poured directly into concrete mixer trucks, there is little to no contact with the product itself. In many cases of concrete slab pours, there is a reduction or elimination of concrete pumps, trip hazards, cranes and onsite storage – all things that were safety hazards for your jobsite. 

Complimentary Support from Professional Engineers

Just like water corroding rebar, engineering and design challenges can creep into a project. It’s essential to simplify processes and choose reliable engineering backed up by decades of experience. With Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, a contractor is not only purchasing a product, but essentially choosing a new construction partner at no additional cost. 

“Anyone can claim benefits,” says Chatham. “But Helix Steel worked on the engineering with us to determine the right loads and product dosages. Now, we don’t need to do the math every time; We have an established dosage just from the experience of working with Helix Steel.”

Long-Lasting Replacement to Rebar

Although a contractor’s work may only last a few months, the resulting structure should stand for generations. That’s why the structure should avoid earthquakes, water penetration and hurricanes, while also reducing the amount of corrosion and cracking which many contractors consider unavoidable.

To increase the durability and longevity of concrete structures – and avoid callbacks from owners – contractors choose Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, which increases the flexible strength of concrete, prevents cracks (before they even start), and each piece is coated to resist rust three times longer than uncoated steel reinforcement.

GCs Know that Lowest Bids Often Get the Work

You’ve likely experienced firsthand how another business won out on a project because they undercut your pricing. Micro Rebar reinforcement results in installation costs that are far cheaper than rebar, while also tightening the timelines that owners need. In many cases, the strength of the concrete is so much greater than rebar that contractors see up to a 25% decrease in the amount of concrete needed. Less concrete, lower costs, smaller crews, shortened timelines, long-lasting durability and safer jobsites add up to winning more bids, and more projects.

The Faster, Cheaper and Better Concrete Reinforcement Alternative is Here

The trifecta is possible, only with Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement. A more durable end product, at a lower price, that saves days (and sometimes even months) of work. For more information on Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today.