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Transportation projects keep consulting engineers busy in Western Canada

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation is moving on plans to replace the existing Okanagan Lake Bridge in...


The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation is moving on plans to replace the existing Okanagan Lake Bridge in Kelowna and replace it with a new five-lane structure. The project is expected to cost $100 million. There are also plans to build two interchanges at approximately $20 million to be built on the west side of the bridge.
The ministry is seeking a partner to design, build, finance and operate the bridge, and has issued a call for expressions of interest. There are no plans for it to be a toll crossing.
The existing 45 year-old Okanagan Lake Bridge on Highway 97 is the most congested stretch of highway outside the Lower Mainland. The crossing is forecast to carry 52,000 cars daily within eight years.
The project is part of the province’s Heartlands Transportation Strategy whereby it is investing $300 million over the next three years in the southern B.C. interior.
The Alberta government recently announced that it will be spending $628 million in building and rehabilitating highways over the next year. Michelle Mondeville, head of communications at Alberta Transportation says their department has seen a “phenomenal” amount of work recently. Next month is the official opening of the $100 million Deerfoot Trail extension in Calgary, for example. It extends the road to Highway 2 south. Several consulting engineering firms were in the consortium that designed the project, including UMA, AMEC and Associated Engineering. The president of Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Bob Gomes of Stantec, has been invited to speak at the opening because so many consulting engineering firms have been involved.
Other large projects in Alberta include the Stoney Trail Project, which forms the northwest quadrant of the Calgary ring road, which got under way this year. It will eventually connect Highway 1 to Highway 2 and is expected to cost $250 million. Earth Tech is overseeing the $250 million project, and working with McElhanney, EBA and ISL Infrastructure.
Another mammoth project under way is the $226 million Anthony Henday Drive extension, part of the Edmonton right road, which involves three water crossings. Earth Tech and UMA are doing the design.
As well as the large projects, the province does many functional planning studies, says Mondeville, and on those types of projects they employ some of the smaller firms.