Canadian Consulting Engineer

What’s New… (January 01, 2005)

TRANSPORTATION...

January 1, 2005  Canadian Consulting Engineer

TRANSPORTATION

Bridge structures brighten Edmonton highway

UMA, with partners Associated Engineering and AMEC, is designing the southwest extension of the Anthony Henday Drive project in Edmonton. Once completed, Anthony Henday Drive is to circle the city in a 20-kilometre route that will connect with Highway 2 at the south. It will be a major improvement in the north-south trade corridor between the province and the U.S.

Associated Engineering has designed eight bridges for the 8.5-kilometre southwest section. At the Calgary Trail interchange they introduced a system using cast-in-place concrete, trellis-style beams to support the road deck. The deck could be supported at any angle, thus solving the problem of skewed geometries in the road below.

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Another unusual structure crosses the Whitemud Creek ravine, which was formerly a coal mine site. Associated designed a sculpted concrete spandrel arch, 18 metres high by 125 metres long, with a central oculus to provide natural lighting.

ENVIRONMENT

Cleaning effort moves ahead at Britannia Mine

EPCOR Water Services, the utility giant owned by the city of Edmonton, has been chosen over two shortlisted consulting engineering teams to design and build a plant to treat contaminated water at the Britannia Mine site. The site, located south of Squamish, B.C. is one of the largest sources of pollution in North America. It discharges an average of 600 kilograms of heavy metals daily into Howe Sound. The contamination is largely from naturally occurring metal sulphide ores which have become exposed to air and rain over 70 years of mining.

Partnerships BC announced in November that Epcor was the successful proponent. The Epcor team includes BioteQ, Lockerbie Stanley and Lafarge. The unsuccessful teams were AMEC Americas and Ledcor, and Terasen Utility Services, which included Maple Reinders, Knight Piesold and Earth Tech.

Golder Associates is project manager overseeing the initial remediation work at the site, which has been going on for two years.

PEOPLE

Eminent structural engineer dies

John Adjeleian died last October 14. Under his leadership his company Adjeleian Allen Rubeli helped design several landmarks in Canada, including the Fathers of Confederation Building in P.E.I., the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the Toronto Skydome. He was also chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at Carleton University for almost a decade beginning in 1976.

Born of Armenian parents in Worcester, Massacchusetts in 1923, Adjeleian served in the U.S. Army and then came to Canada and enrolled in civil engineering at McGill University. In 1955 he joined with Gordon Goodkey and Sterling Weedmark to form a firm and then set up his own practice in 1960. It evolved into Adjeleian Allen Rubeli by 1988.

PROFESSION

Wedding off

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) has dropped plans to merge with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC). Though the organizations had already drafted legislation to allow the union, opposition mounted among engineers and it became a key issue in APEGBC’s election last fall. In November the new council and president, Dennis McJunkin, P.Eng., unanimously voted to abandon the merger.

COMPANIES

Yolles acquired

Yolles Group of Toronto, has been acquired by Halcrow, a U.K. consulting company. Yolles is one of Canada’s best known structural engineering firms, founded in 1952. It employs 180 people. Halcrow is a planning, design and management consulting firm with 5,000 employees worldwide. It had a turnover of 211 million pounds in 2003.

MAILBOX

Provincial jurisdictions make no sense

Re. Comment, “Clearing the fog around the name,” (August-September 2004). Please keep up the pressure for national standards and national registration!

It remains unfathomable to me that we should not have uniform, and very high, standards across this country. Indeed, it must make us all look pretty silly to the rest of the world that we call ourselves a country but we think that there are sufficient differences in the knowledge and practice of engineering to warrant separate qualifications in each of our jurisdictions.

If someone can ever succeed in explaining to me how the principles of engineering are so different that we need to have so many different sets of qualifications, maybe I can be convinced. But if that someone does convince me, their argument will also necessarily disqualify us all from working outside the country as we shall be saying that we are so different from the rest of the world that we are unqualified to work elsewhere.

If the rational argument fails, try economics. A single qualifying body would cut out the duplication and thereby save us all a bundle of money.

Colin Alston, P.Eng.

Alston Associates, Markham, Ont.

No need to control title

Re. Comment, “Clearing the fog around the name,” (August-September 2004). As engineers we are (or were) deemed capable of assessing our personal strengths and capabilities to do any work we choose. In my opinion, sufficient regulation exists to govern professional engineers in the marketplace. Those engineers who do unsatisfactory work will find that they are quickly brought to task by their professional associations, litigious clients, and word-of-mouth.

In my opinion, speaking only for myself in B.C., let the present system stand as it is, since we already have sufficient regulations.

Reg Davis, P.Eng.

West Vancouver, B.C.

AWARDS

Saskatchewan consultants recognized

Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan gave their fourth annual awards in November.

The award-winning projects, named the “Brian Eckel Awards of Excellence,” were the Yellow Quill First Nation Integrated Bio-Membrane Treatment System by Associated Engineering, the Maple Creek Water Treatment Plant Upgrade by Bullee Consulting, the Wascana Creek Rehabilitation in Regina by Clifton & Associates, the Regina Wastewater Collection System Study by Cochrane Engineering, the Riversdale Site Remediation in Saskatoon by Pinter & Associates, and the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan by UMA Engineering.

Daniel Hogan, P.Eng. of Associated Engineering in Saskatoon won the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan’s Meritorious Achievement Award for outstanding achievement as an individual.

QUOTES & NOTES

Coal mines come back to life

“… a commodity that was selling for less than US $40 a tonne a couple of years ago is now fetching more than US $125, and analysts expect another healthy jump in price this year. Suddenly, coal is a fuel with a big future, and all those dead coal mines in places like Cape Breton and northeastern British Columbia are showing new signs of life.” — Steve Maich, “Will Coal Bury Kyoto,” Maclean’s, January 17.

Caution: consultants at work

“The committee based its support on a consultant’s report which found ‘a huge desire on behalf of people from all walks of life’ for such a centre. That seems overly optimistic. City council would be wise to proceed cautiously. Consultants are not always correct. Analysts hired to gauge support for a Rochester-to-Toronto ferry claimed one million residents in the Toronto area could use the ferry each year. Far fewer did so. Despite rosy estimates, the service went bust in less than three months.” — “Aquarium, yes; Humanitas, no,” The Toronto Star, January 17.

Cool

When Americans were asked what innovations and ideas had most benefited their lives, the top answer was residential air conditioning.
The poll was conducted in October by the Henry Ford Centre in Dearborn, Michigan and America Online. It drew 2.5 million responses. See www.thehenryford.org

PUBLIC SAFETY

Paper beats rock

Last August, within 24 hours after RSW consulting engineers had handed in a report to the city of Saguenay in Quebec, people living in the houses below a cliff in Tremblay were asked to leave their homes. Rock mechanic specialists Michel Claisse and Gustavo Gonzaga of RSW found that the 300-metre high rock face overhanging the houses posed an imminent danger. The houses were relocated to a safe distance away.

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