Canadian Consulting Engineer

News (June 01, 2004)

June 1, 2004
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



Trudeau airport under way

The expansion and makeover of Montreal’s Dorval Airport has passed its mid-point. Aeroports de Montreal announced in March that 37% of the work was completed on Phase II, which includes a large new international arrivals complex that is due to open in November.

Renamed the Pierre Elliott-Trudeau International Airport to coincide with its transformation, the airport 12 kilometres southeast of Montreal has a total of $716 million work budgeted in three phases. Phase I, which added a new transborder jetty and expanded the existing terminal’s central core, was completed last year for $250-million. Phase II, budgeted to cost $356 million, is under way, with up to 1,000 workers expected to be on site this summer. There are also plans to construct a rail link to connect the airport with commuter and inter-city trains.

A consortium “DVPT”, which includes Tecsult as one of four partners, is doing project management. Structural engineers are SNC-Lavalin and CIMA+. Mechanical and electrical engineers are Bouthillette Parizeau, Pageau-Morel and HBA Experts-Conseils. Civil engineer is Dessau-Soprin. Architects are Provencher Roy, Cardinal-Hardy, JLP and Arcop.


LEED good for everyone

I read with interest the letter in the January-February issue by Geoff McDonell, P.Eng., commenting on the article by Gordon Shymko, P.Eng. (“True Green,” December 2003, p. 32).

The reason LEED [the green building rating system] came to be in the first place, and the reason for its unparalleled success to date in helping transform the marketplace within North America, is because it is intended to be adopted in its variations of Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. It never has been and never will be a tool for elitists.

Whilst many of us over the years have worked on leading edge innovative designs in order to lead the industry forward, I believe our profession should be focused on helping bring the last person over the line in the spirit of the Outward Bound philosophy. The LEED process establishes a competitive environment for those interested in doing “just enough,” as well as those looking to pioneer new ideas and initiatives i.e. the Platinum standard.

Today, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has over 300 member firms. I will continue to support not only the LEED program but also the many hundreds of volunteers who are taking time out of their lives to make a difference for future generations.

Kevin Hydes, P.Eng.

Keen Engineering, Montreal,

Vice Chairman USGBC, Board Member CaGBC.

Coaticook footbridge is longest

Re. the Scenic Caves Suspension Bridge, in Collingwood, Ontario (January-February, p. 21), I have a photograph of a suspension footbridge that has a remarkable resemblance to it. The bridge crosses the gorge of the Coaticook River in the park at Coaticook in southern Quebec. Built in 1988-89, it claims to be the longest suspension footbridge in the world at 169 metres.

According to staff at the park, the bridge was designed by Teknica, a Quebec-based consulting firm, and erected by a local contractor, Couillard Construction. So perhaps it’s not necessary to go as far as Nova Scotia for the necessary expertise!

Piers M. Ebsworth, P.Eng.

Pointe-Claire, Que.


B.C. and Manitoba celebrate success

British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence went to McElhanney Consulting this year. It was presented as part of the Consulting Engineers of B.C. gala awards night on March 6 in Vancouver. McElhanney won the prize and a CEBC award of excellence for its project: Land Administration in Landmine Contaminated Areas in Cambodia.

There were four other awards of excellence: Dayton & Knight for the Eagle Lake Micro Power Generation; Fast + Epp for Central City Three Timber Structures; Sandwell Engineering for the Coloso Port Modification; and Sandwell Engineering for the Little Mountain Reservoir Reconstruction. McElhanney Consulting’s Bob Brocklebank, P.Eng., a “founding father of CEBC,” won the CEBC Meritorious Achievement prize.

A month later, on April 6 in Winnipeg, Consulting Engineers of Manitoba celebrated their best and brightest. The top “Keystone Award” went to Wardrop Engineering for the Provencher Bridge and Esplanade Riel (see CCE January-February, p. 18). Awards of excellence also went to Crosier Kilgour & Partners for the Winnipeg Convention Centre Pressure Equalized Rainscreen Installation and Commissioning, and to Cochrane Engineering for the City of Portage la Prairie Water Treatment Plant Upgrades.


What a difference a word makes

The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists & Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) decided it needs to tighten its regulations after it lost an appeal to stop an unlicensed individual marketing his services as a “systems engineer.” Members voted in favour of requesting a change to the Engineering Act at the annual general meeting on April 24.

The association wants to add just one word — “may” — to Section 3 of its Act, but that small change could have a major impact on how the legislation applies. It would mean that in future APEGGA would not have to demonstrate that the public has been misled by a person’s unauthorized use of the professional title, only that the public “may” be misled. The changed wording would apply to the use of the words “engineer,” “geologist” and “geophysicist.”

Meanwhile the Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec has scored a victory in its efforts to stop Microsoft giving the title “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer” to graduates of its training courses.

In April the Court of Quebec accepted the Order’s action against the software giant and found Microsoft guilty of contravening the province’s Professional Code for “knowingly causing a person who is not a member of the OIQ by authorization or encouragement, to use the title of engineer…”

Across Canada, Microsoft has authorized 35,000 people to use the engineering title.


Malls of the East

“The big-brand capitalist model in this newly wealthy Islamic state is more American than America itself. Some malls stay open till midnight to accommodate throngs of men in crisp white dishdashas who prefer Starbucks to Arabic Aqha, and women who wear Calvin Klein and DKNY under their black abayas. An acceptable, temperature-controlled alternative to the bar or the street cafe, the mall is becoming as central to life in Dubai as the mosque….

“Construction has already begun on the Mall of the Emirates, the world’s largest you-know-what outside North America.”

–“Shop Till You Transcend,” by Carey Toane in The Walrus, April-May 2004.


Big costs for a big oilsands project

The Syncrude Stage 3 giant oil sands project 40 kilometres north of Fort McMurray in Alberta is running $2.1 billion over budget and will be completed more than a year late. It is one of several massive expansions of oil sands operations in northern Alberta.

The Canadian Oil Sands Trust joint venture that owns the Syncrude site said in an April announcement that they were “extremely disappointed” in the progress of the project. Syncrude Construction is now expected to cost $7.8 billion rather than the $5.7 billion forecast in 2002, and it won’t be completed until mid 2006. Up to 5,500 people are working on the site.

Some elements, however, have been completed already. The Aurora 2 mine, with which UMA Constructors and AMEC were involved, is ready and cost only 4% over budget. Fluor Daniel and SNC-Lavalin are working with Syncrude on the engineering and procurement of the Upgrader Expansion, for which the purchase of materials and equipment are over 90% complete. Kellogg Brown and Root were responsible for construction management.

Located at Mildred Lake, the Syncrude 3 expansion was announced in June 2001 as a project that would incorporate new technology to deliver a better environ
mental performance compared to previous oilsands extraction operations. The plant would have improved fluid coker technology supplemented with a flue gas unit that would recover more than 90% of the sulphur. Ammonia emissions were also to be reduced by more than 90 per cent. When finished in 2006 the plant expansion should increase production by 128 million barrels a year.


Becker and Johns recognized

Art Johns, P.Eng., principal and chair of Morrison Hershfield of Toronto has received the Gold Medal from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. It is the highest honour that CCPE gives to one of its members and recoginizes his exceptional individual achievements and contributions to the profession and the community.

Johns has been with Morrison Hershfield for 42 years. He received the award at the CCPE annual meeting in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in May.

Dr. Dennis Becker, P.Eng., a principal of Golder Associates in their Calgary office, was awarded the Canadian Pacific Railway Engineering Medal by the Engineering Institute of Canada this spring. Among his achievements, Dr. Becker worked on the foundations of the Confederation Bridge in P.E.I.


Vancouver’s RAV line hits rails

Vancouver’s planned RAV rapid transit line to link Richmond, Vancouver International Airport and the downtown core in time for the Winter Olympics in 2010 has been stalled. Two consulting engineering firms, AMEC and SNC-Lavalin, were in consortia hoping to design-build, operate and maintain the line. AMEC was on the RAVxpress consortia along with Bombardier and two international companies. SNC-Lavalin/ Serco was the second consortium.

In early May, Translink decided that the costs for the planned RAV line — $1.5-$1.7 billion — were too high and called a halt to the selection process. Instead, they are investigating ways to build both a cheaper RAV line as well as a rapid transit extension of the Millennium SkyTrain to Coquitlam, for a total $1.9 million.

The proposed RAV line was 19.5 kilometres long with 18 stations. It was to be automated either in whole or in part, would be elevated in Richmond and on the Vancouver International Airport Sea Islands, and then descend underground or run in a trench north of 63rd Avenue in Vancouver.


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