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LANDMARKS

October 1, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

LANDMARKS

Confederation Bridge deemed one of best in 100 years

Confederation Bridge, the 13-kilometre crossing that joined Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada in 1997, has won a Centenary Award from FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. The award of excellence marked the bridge as one of the most important civil engineering projects of the past 100 years. AECOM and Stantec were presented with the award which was announced in Barcelona, Spain at FIDIC’s annual meeting.

The 13-kilometre bridge stretches across the Northumberland Strait to New Brunswick. It was completed as a fast-track design-build project, which was unusual at the time. It required innovative precast construction and was completed in under four years, despite the massive scale of the project and the difficult weather.

The project earned Stantec (then Stanley Consulting Group of Calgary) the Schreyer Award in the 1998 Canadian Consulting Engineering awards.

 

COMPANIES

Opus acquires Stewart Weir of Alberta

Opus International Consultants has acquired Stewart Weir, an employee-owned company of 550 people. With four offices in Alberta and one in Fort St. John, B.C., the company is 100 years old and has its head office in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton. It recently expanded its services from surveying and engineering to include industrial engineering, geographical information systems, and environmental services.

Opus International’s managing director and chief executive, Dr. David Prentice, suggested that the acquisition was partly to give Opus a bigger role in Canada’s growing pipeline and energy markets.

The new company will operate as Opus Stewart Weir, and Stewart Weir’s current chief executive officer, Brian Pearse, will stay as its president. The president of Opus’ Canadian operations will continue to be Sean Brophy, who is based in Vancouver.

Opus International acquired Dayton and Knight (now Opus Dayton Knight) of Vancouver in 2010, and now has 700 staff and 16 offices in Canada. It has 3,000 people around the world, in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., U.S. and Canada.

BUILDINGS

Globe & Mail gets new digs

A new home for the Globe & Mail newspaper is due to break ground this month, with completion in 2016.

The 17-storey building is to be constructed in Toronto’s east downtown on a block between King Street East, Front Street East and Berkeley Streets. It is within the original 10-block grid of the former Town of York, where Toronto began. The newspaper, which started publishing in 1844, has occupied offices on King Street before, but is currently in a building on Front Street West.

The new tower is being developed by First Gulf, with the Globe and Mail occupying levels 13 through 17. Level 17 has 15-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling vision glass, and a multipurpose room with adjacent terrace.

Diamond Schmitt Architects have designed the structure as stacked alternate-sized floor plates interlaid with terraces. Consultants include Read Jones Christoffersen (structural), Hidi Rae (mechanical-electrical), LMDG (code), RWDI (wind), Valcoustics (vibration), BA Consulting (transportation), and ERA Architects (heritage).

INFRASTRUCTURE

Development charges

biased against transit

On September 24, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, released “Building Momentum: Provincial Policies for Municipal Energy and Carbon Reductions.”

The report examined how development charges are used to fund municipal transit expansions. It found that the funding formula is biased against transit when compared to how it treats other municipal services like roads.

Miller pointed out: “Right now, municipalities are prevented from using development charges to cover 100% of the capital costs for new transit service; they can only cover 90% of the costs.  But they [development levies] can be used to pay for 100% of the capital costs of other municipal services like roads. Transit is not treated fairly.”

Miller found that another factor hobbling transit funding is that because the income from development charges is based on the past 10 years of service that a municipality provided, those municipalities that want to expand their transit don’t get the funds they need.

In 2011 municipalities in the province collected $1.3 billion from developers to pay for infrastructure. The Ontario government is promising to consult with municipalities and review the 1997 Development Charges Act.

PEOPLE

Shifts at SNC-Lavalin, CH2M HILL

SNC-Lavalin has created a new position on its public relations front. Erik J. Ryan will be its new executive vice-president, marketing, strategy and external relations. Ryan is a Quebec native and will be based in Montreal. He comes to SNC-Lavalin from Rio Tinto Alcan.

At CH2M HILL, Lee McIntire will step down as chief executive officer of the Denver-based company on January 1. McIntire, who has been CEO since June 2009, will continue as chairman of the board. The new chief executive officer will be Jacqueline Hinman, previously president of CH2M HILL International. Hinman was a key executive in many of CH2M HILL’s projects around the world, such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She also served as chair and CEO of Halcrow companies after CH2M HILL’s 2011 acquisition of the 6,000-person U.K.-based firm. CCE magazine interviewed Hinman in the May 2013 issue, “Conversations,” page 42.


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