Project objectives included replacing a deteriorating restrictive underpass (CPR Subway) with a new structure highway and grade-separated crossing bridge over the rail-road. The new highway and bridge structure would allow for the travel of oversized loads (bulk cargo) on this portion of the Trans Canada Highway, where previously there was a height restriction of less than 5 metres. Advanced engineering design and building materials to account for heavy traffic flow were project requirements, as was quick and efficient construction of the new infrastructure (and demolition of the existing infrastructure) to minimize interruption to land and rail traffic.
The solution involved re-alignment of 2 km of highway and a 26m prestressed concrete box girder bridge. The re-aligned highway included 3.75 metre main lanes, 2.5 metre shoulders (fully paved), 1 metre rounding, and rumble strips. As well, a 3.5 metre truck climbing lane and existing snow plow turnaround where reconstructed. Bridge components included piles set on rock points, RSS walls, prestressed concrete box girders, prestressed/precast concrete cubs, precast concrete approach slabs, metal railing system and GFRP Reinforcing and UHPC with steel fibers for precast connection.
TBT Engineering provided Total Project Management for the highway realignment and new grade separated crossing including all engineering and construction administration for the project. Vertical and horizontal alignment of Highway 17 was improved to provide geometrics consistent with a design speed of 110 km/h. All project objectives where achieved on time and within budget. As a separate TPM project, TBTE provided similar services for an innovative rapid demolition of the deteriorating CPR underpass, plus embankment construction so that CPR could rebuild track.
This project resulted in the elimination of a height restriction that had made this stretch of the Trans Canada Highway un-usable for over-sized loads. Unlimited clearance to highway traffic now allows for over-height loads and bulk cargo, and has resulted in more efficient and cost effective flow of goods between Eastern and Western Canada. This has benefited a wide range of projects and clients including various major developers in the Alberta Oil Sands. Currently, the highway is allowing for over-sized loads that are being shipped for continued Oil Sands development, as well as renewable energy projects and mining developments in Ontario and the Ring of Fire.