Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

Sewage backups, crumbling expressways, and completing the Edmonton circle

With 700 athletes in town, the town of Swan Hills in Manitoba called a state of emergency and asked them to stop showering on July 19. A pump in the town's sewage treatment plant stopped when a transformer failed, prompting the danger of a...


With 700 athletes in town, the town of Swan Hills in Manitoba called a state of emergency and asked them to stop showering on July 19. A pump in the town’s sewage treatment plant stopped when a transformer failed, prompting the danger of a sewage back-up.

The athletes were in town to compete in the Manitoba Summer Games, which are held every two years. The town brought in an emergency generator from nearby Dauphin and everyone – plant and athletes – were running the next day.

Chunks of concrete continue to drop from the underside of the Gardiner Expressway that carries 100,000 cars a day through downtown Toronto. The elevated road was completed in 1966, nearly 50 years ago. In the past three months, concrete has fallen five times, including one incident where a motorist’s car was hit. The most recent incident occurred on July 18 at Bathurst Street. City engineers have been doing controlled chipping but the bridge is due to start a major overhaul within a few weeks.

The final leg of the Edmonton ring road is being completed under a 34-year public private partnership worth $1.81 billion. The Alberta government has signed the contract to design, build, operate and partially finance the Northeast Anthony Henday Drive project with Capital City Link General Partnership. The partnership’s bid was below two others which were for $2.03 billion and $2.22 billion. The project involves 27 kilometres of six- and eight-lane divided roadway from Manning Drive to just south of Whitemud Drive. The project will require constructing nine interchanges, two road flyovers, eight rail crossings, and two bridges across the North Saskatchewan River. Design and construction has been subcontracted to a joint venture of Flatiron, Dragados, Aecon and Lafarge.