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Technical Tours

As tours will operate rain or shine, participants are asked to dress accordingly. Unless otherwise stipulated, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. All tours are covered by conference registration fees. Duration times listed for each tour are estimates. Participants are asked to arrive at the TAC information booth located at the St. John's Convention Centre at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure times. Those on a waiting list should also be present.


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TOUR A – Multi-Lane and Single-lane Roundabouts

TOUR A-1 – Monday, September 25 – 13:45
TOUR A-2 – Wednesday, September 27 – 08:30

Participants will visit both multi-lane and single-lane roundabouts in the St. John’s area. The roundabouts feature different design/operations, including: bypasses, spiral circulating lane configurations, full pedestrian connectivity, and different forms of central-island landscaping to enhance visibility. Each roundabout has a unique history: the first Newfoundland and Labrador roundabout; the most recent roundabout; developer-built roundabouts and a planned roundabout on a high volume arterial that includes the removal of a traffic signal. Roundabouts are providing local municipalities the best option for improving the local road network while maximizing safety and value.

TOUR B – Kitty Gaul’s Brook and Lower Gullies River

TOUR B-1 – Monday, September 25 – 13:45
TOUR B-2 – Tuesday, September 26 – 08:30

This guided tour will involve stops at Kitty Gaul’s Brook, and the Lower Gullies River, two areas affected by the loss of productive fish habitats as a result of highway construction projects. Participants will witness the end result of the habitat restoration, and gain an appreciation of the challenges experienced in highway development over sensitive habitats. Both watercourses are productive trout streams, and offer unique and important wild habitats for many people living in adjacent urban settings.

TOUR C – St. John’s Metrobus Transit Facility

TOUR C-1 – Tuesday, September 26 – 08:30
TOUR C-2 – Wednesday, September 27 – 13:45

Opened on December 1, 2013, this 11,000 square-metre facility houses Metrobus’ administration and operations, storage for 60 buses, state-of-the-art repair garage, and bus wash and maintenance areas. The latest technologies and architectural design provide the necessary infrastructure to establish public transit as an important part of the solution to urban mobility, and the achievement of sustainable transportation throughout the region. Centrally located relevant to existing routes and surrounding municipalities, the facility allows for future regional service expansion. The building boasts various LEED design environmental features, reducing the transit system’s carbon footprint, and improving cost-efficiency. These include: a geothermal heating system; heat recovery systems in the bus storage, and repair garage areas combined with energy-efficient lighting. Rainwater harvesting cisterns are employed to collect water to wash the fleet at the end of each service day.  

TOUR D – Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge, Placentia

TOUR D-1 – Tuesday, September 26 – 13:45
TOUR D-2 – Wednesday, September 27 – 13:45

Located in the Town of Placentia, 130 km outside of St. John’s, the new Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge officially opened on September 23, 2016, replacing the original structure. The new bridge cost approximately $47.7 million, including construction, engineering and demolition and removal of the old bridge. Construction involved 9,200 metres of steel piling, 3,800 cubic metres of concrete, 150 tonnes of reinforcing steel and approximately 976 tonnes of structural steel.

Opened in 1961, the original bridge was designed to allow fishing boats to enter and leave Placentia, while allowing vehicles to drive directly between Jerseyside and Placentia for the first time. Fifty-five years later, the new lift bridge is still the only one of its kind in the province and one of the largest lift structures in Canada.

Recipient of the 2016 CISC-Quebec Steel Design Award  (Bridges Category), the Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge is staffed year round, 24-hours a day. The bridge is lifted approximately 2,400 times annually for marine traffic and sees about 6,500 vehicles per day. During the busiest spring months when crab and lobster fisheries are at their peak, the bridge can lift over 400 times a month.

TOUR E – C-CORE Geotechnical Centrifuge

TOUR E-1 – Tuesday, September 26 – 13:45
TOUR E-2 
– Wednesday, September 27 – 08:30

This guided tour will allow participants to better understand how centrifuge modelling translates into real world geotechnical study and the effect it has on the transportation industry.

Centrifuge modelling is currently the most reliable technique using small-scale tests of geotechnical phenomena to predict full-scale conditions in various environments. C-CORE maintains a world-class geotechnical facility located on the Memorial University campus in St. John’s.  It is equipped with a 5.5m-radius, 200G payload capacity geotechnical centrifuge (one of the largest in the world and the only one in North America designed to model cold region phenomena) and soils and model preparation laboratories. These features provide the ability to closely replicate real-world conditions, including extreme cold, soils comparable to site conditions and multi-directional stresses and strains, such as wave action and earthquakes.

Typical applications include testing the strength, stiffness and capacity of soils and associated anchors, foundations, piles, pipelines, and embankments. For more than 2 decades, C-CORE has accurately modelled a broad variety of events, including soil-structure interactions for steel catenary risers, pile foundations, drag embedded anchors, ice-seabed gouging problems, and ice rubble rock berm interaction problems. C‑CORE hosts graduate students and researchers from across Canada and around the world, who use the facility for their research programs.  

TOUR F – Centre for Marine Simulation

TOUR F-1 – Wednesday, September 27 – 13:45

The Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS), located at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of the Memorial University of Newfoundland campus, is North America’s most advanced and comprehensive simulation provider. CMS assists the marine industry by rehearsing routine and new operation procedures, testing equipment and handling emergency situations under controlled realistic conditions.

The training centre realistically mimics the challenging offshore environment by providing 360º visuals and motion systems. CMS also offers in-house modelling capability to develop generic and client-specific ship models with hydrodynamic accuracy. Models can be used to find vessel’s navigational limitations and investigate seaworthiness in any geographical setting. CMS provides researchers with a shipboard environment to conduct sea trials. An overview of the Centre’s capabilities can be observed here.