Up Front (July 01, 2008)
New William Bennett Bridge floats in Kelowna
A new William R. Bennett Bridge replacing the existing one in Kelowna, B. C. was opened at the end of May. The five-lane bridge over the Okanagan Lake is a floating structure, one of only nine in the world.
Stretching a kilometre long, the crossing has a reinforced steel skeleton resting on nine pontoons weighing between 4,000 and 7,000 tonnes each. Anchors hold them in place.
SNC-Lavalin won a design-buildfinance-operate contract for the project in 2005 and will operate the bridge for 30 years, though it is toll-free. The project cost $144.5 million and came in 108 days ahead of schedule. It will carry over 50,000 vehicles per day between Kelowna and Westbank, on the busiest corridor in B. C. outside the Lower Mainland.
The existing bridge is scheduled to be dismantled by the end of the year. At the ribbon cutting, the bridge’s namesake, former B. C. Premier Bill Bennett, and current Premier Gordon Campbell used the same scissors that were used to open the original bridge.
Film studios open on Toronto Port Lands
Filmport Studio Lot Phase 1 opened in Toronto in early June on a 20-hectare site in the Port Lands to the east of Toronto Harbour.
This first phase of Filmport includes seven sound stages, workshops and a four-storey block of production offices, wardrobe and dressing areas. Still under construction is a “megastage,” which will be the largest in North America and the second largest in the world. It has 45,000 square feet of column free space, with steel buttresses and a barrel vaulted roof.
Jablonsky Ast and Partners are the structural engineers for Quadrangle Architects for the $75-million project. Merber Corporation are the mechanical engineers and Mulvey + Banani International are the electrical engineers.
Goodbye to “CEO” and “CENB”
Members of Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) voted to change the name of the association at its annual meeting in Toronto on June 5. The proposed new name is in line with the national association. It will be the Association of Canadian Engineering Companies-Ontario, or ACECOntario.
In April, Consulting Engineers of New Brunswick voted to change its name in a similar way. It will be the Association of Canadian Engineering Companies of New Brunswick, with an acronym ACEC-New Brunswick. The French version is l’Association des Firms d’Ingnierie Canadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, or AFIC-Nouveau-Brunswick.
Geologists, geophysicists — or geoscientists?
The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) is planning to combine the designations geologist and geophysicist into one term, “geoscientists.” The change would bring it into line with associations in other provinces of Canada such as the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B. C., as well as geioscientist associations around the world.
For its 2008 annual meeting, APEGGA sent out a ballot to its 37,000 members, asking if they were in favour of combining the P. Geol. and P. Geoph. to the single P. Geo. designation.
A low response of 9.2% meant the result is not binding, but the majority — 72% — who did vote was in favour.
The council has decided to prepare the legal paperwork and will bring the proposal back for a decision at the 2009 annual general meeting.
New president at AICQ
Michel Lalonde, ing. has been elected president of AICQ for 2008-2009. M. Lalonde is president and director general of the firm Le Groupe Sguin.
AICQ holds its Awards
The Association of Consulting Engineers of Quebec/L’Association des ingnieurs-conseils du Qubec (AICQ) announced its “Grand-Prix du gnie-conseils qubecois,” otherwise known as the Leonard Awards, on April 1. The presentation was at the Montreal Science Centre, with 380 guests, including Sam Hamad, the Quebec Ministry of Employment. This is the fifth year of the awards.
Three awards went to projects on the Extension of Montreal’s Metro Line 2 to Laval — SNC-Lavalin and Tecsult for project management; Dessau for the line’s telecommunications and controls; and Dessau for signal systems at the Cartier and Montmorency Stations.
Awards also went to: Dessau for Energy Conservation at the Mistissini Community Centre; Tecsult, for repairs to the Rivire-des-Prairies Powerhouse superstructure; SNCLavalin Pharma for the Sainte-Foy Plant expansion; SNC-Lavalin/Genivar for the redesign of the Boulevard Taschereau and Highway 10 interchange at Brossard; CIMA+ for improvements to Boulevard Saint-Laurent in Montreal; SNC-Lavalin for Peribonka Hydroelectric Dam, BPR for a hydroelectricity Station in Nepal; Tecsult for works at the Saint-Thomas Wastewater Treatment Plant; and Genivar for the Expansion of the Pavillon Sainte-Marie at Nicolet.
The jury chair was John R. Porter, Director General of the Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec
Calgary Courts Centre & Toronto Subway Extension
NORR should have been listed as the associate architect for the Calgary Courts Centre in the May 2008 issue, page 11.
The news item “Toronto’s subway to reach York University,” on page 4 of the May 2008 issue should have said that a joint venture of Hatch Mott MacDonald, Delcan and MMM Group had been awarded the $100 million project management services contract. The joint venture is called the Spadina Link Project Managers.
Acquisitions, mergers and people changes
Westmar Consultants of Vancouver has been purchased by WorleyParsons of Australia. WorleyParsons has more than 27,000 employees in 34 countries.
Morrison Hershfield of Toronto, has “joined forces” with Suncord Engineering of Edmonton. Suncord was established in 1981 and provides mechanical engineering for buildings and industrial projects. Together the two companies have a combined staff of 700.
Stantec of Edmonton is moving into the mining sector, with intent to acquire McIntosh Engineering by July. McIntosh has 200 employees in Arizona and Ontario.
Genivar of Montreal has acquired Bullock Baur Associates, a B. C. firm of 23 employees specializing in civil and municipal engineering services.
Leber Rubes of Toronto made senior management changes at the beginning of 2008. Fred Leber is now chief executive officer of the company, now known as LRI. Jonathan Rubes has changed his role from president to principal consultant. Eric Esselink is now president of LRI.
Dealing with sewage at Fort McMurray
The population of Fort McMurray near the Alberta oilsands is increasing so quickly, work on a new wastewater treatment plant has had to be fast-tracked. Associated Engineering is project manager for the new Fort McMurray Water Reclamation facility. It will replace the existing aerated sewage lagoons with a tertiary process plant.
Herb Kuehne, P. Eng., Associated Engineering’s project manager, says, “One of the major challenges for the project was defining the population forecasts for such a dynamic and growing city.”
Phase 1 was designed to serve 85,000 people, but by the time it is completed next year the population will already have reached that level. The phase 2 project to expand the capacity to service 100,000 people was therefore fast-tracked to be completed next year as well.
Besides the booming population in the town, sewage is being trucked in from the industrial construction camps and adding to the waste load. Wastewater from truck haulage has more than tripled since 2004, and is equivalent to the waste of up to 20,000 people.