Traffic calming measures continue to be effective ways of re-designing our roads to reduce speeds, increase yielding, and improve safety in our urban areas. The processes to implement traffic calming, however, can be long and arduous due to the many obstacles to permanent construction. In many cases the obstacles to implementation of traffic calming result in large delays during which time there are on-going safety concerns or collisions in many cases. These obstacles include funding, utilities, drainage and public support, to name a few. To overcome some of these obstacles the City of Calgary developed a pre-cast concrete shape, called Traffic Calming Curbs (TC Curbs) that allow modular creation of common traffic calming features that can be deployed quickly, at a low cost, and with a high degree of flexibility. The innovative process to design and construct the TC Curbs is described as well as process considerations for implementing their placement and lessons learned so far regarding their use. Case studies of TC Curb placement are examined including geometric design, placement, winter operations, and supporting traffic control. More importantly, evaluations of changes in motorist behaviours such as speed and yielding behaviour, and perceptions of various stakeholders are presented. Initial indications are that TC Curbs are a useful and effective tool to implement traffic calming as either an interim or potentially long term solution.
Comparing Level of Service (LOS) across infrastructure asset classes is difficult because of a lack of a common asset condition indicator. Some expert practitioners have suggested various types of asset value index as a common measure for comparing asset health but such an index, on its own, might mask the underlying level of service. In addition, quantifying risk and reliability is becoming ever more important when managing infrastructure assets. Asset Condition Indices are often composites of several measured or estimated asset attributes. Pavement Condition Indices, for example, are often derived by deducting values representing many different pavement distresses from a perfect score. However, when a composite index is used, the underlying nature of the severity of distress or its extent is not evident directly from the index. One must refer to the underlying individual distress data to determine why the index got its ultimate value. The magnitude of the deduct values are often somewhat subjective based on expert judgement relating to the relative severity of a given distress. In pavement, for instance, alligator cracking is seen to be more costly to repair than transverse cracking and is therefore given a larger deduct value resulting in a lower condition index. Although this may be reasonable for pavements, any mathematics behind the quantitative relationships between deduct values is not well documented in the literature. Quantifiable damage indices for pavements such as those used in the Highway Development and Management (HDM) framework have been in widespread use outside of North America and with the introduction of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG), are now gradually being adopted in North America providing a more consistently defined structure for quantifying pavement distress. This paper briefly discusses the evolution of the classes of pavement indices from the traditional composite class indices through to damage indices and into those developed or now being developed to manage some other infrastructure classes including Infrastructure Value Indices. The paper then puts forward a framework for incorporating risk and reliability with asset value indices in such a manner that both of these performance indicators could be compared across asset classes. Finally the paper describes a recently developed, damage based, LOS Index that can readily be applied to virtually any infrastructure asset class and that conveys not only the condition of the asset but allows Asset Managers to gauge the severity and density of distress through a single index number. The index can be readily implemented at any level of agency experience and requires no sophisticated data collection technology. The paper demonstrates the application of the technique through a municipal transportation infrastructure example.
Manitoba Infrastructure (MI) desired a new, tall concrete median barrier capable of satisfying the Test Level 5 (TL-5) safety requirements of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). It needed to fit within the footprint of an existing F-shape median barrier located in a narrow median. It also was required to address headlight glare from opposing traffic. The barrier was designed with a height of 1,250 mm, a maximum width of 600 mm and to resist a load of 845 kN applied at the top of the barrier. The Manitoba Constrained-Width, Tall Wall was optimised to withstand the design load while minimising the amount of steel reinforcement. Variations of the barrier were developed, including a bridge rail and a roadside barrier. The bridge rail was considered to be the critical design due to its narrow width and anchorage to a relatively thin, cantilevered bridge deck. Thus, one full-scale vehicle crash test was conducted on the bridge rail system to verify the entire family of barriers. A vertical back barrier (45.72 m long) was constructed. It had a height of 1,250 mm and widths of 450 mm at its base and 250 millimetres at the top. The upstream half of the barrier (22.86 m) was constructed on a simulated bridge deck that was 280 mm thick. A gap in the bridge rail was constructed that was 168 mm wide and a gap in the bridge deck that was 19 mm wide; these were placed mid-span to simulate an expansion joint. A steel cover plate was placed over the barrier joint to prevent vehicle snag. During the test, the tractor trailer impacted just upstream from the joint and was safely redirected. The barrier sustained minor damage in the form of cracks and spalling. Anchorage options were developed for use with the TL-5 barrier system, including a foundation slab and an independent footing. Transition systems were also detailed for the connection of the TL-5 median barrier to various other new and existing barrier shapes. Finally, Manitoba Infrastructure developed a full series of barrier systems for median and roadside conditions that will provide designers many options to create construction drawings for their projects that are specific for their site(s).
On September 23, 2016, the new Sir Ambrose Shea Vertical Lift Bridge located in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador on the east coast of Canada opened to traffic. It was built as a replacement to an existing structure constructed in 1961 that had reached the end of its useful life. It is comprised of three spans, with a centre movable span (vertical lift span) flanked by two simple fixed composite plate girder spans. The towers for this lift bridge are comprised of a three-dimensional steel truss shaped representative of sails. Each tower component is connected by a three-dimensional exoskeleton truss housing the machinery operating the lift span. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing with architecture reflecting the local culture and tourism potential of the region, the new bridge is designed to be durable, efficient and reliable. The new bridge was constructed adjacent to the existing bridge in order to minimize disruption to navigation and road traffic. This paper discusses the bridge design and construction starting with the design aspects of the bridge including: movable bridge types considered; alternative lift span systems; foundation options; bridge architecture; mechanical components; durability; and constructability aspects of the design. The bridge foundations, approach spans, and towers were constructed using temporary trestles and cranes and the lift span was assembled on a barge and lifted into position. The construction duration spanned over a period of three years and had to accommodate the harsh environmental conditions including high winds, tide, and fast currents.
The City of Edmonton has committed to the long term goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Moving towards that goal, the City of Edmonton has allocated funding for a multi-year traffic safety improvement program. One of the applications of the program is to apply engineering improvements to existing right turn geometries to increase visibility and reduce rear-end collisions. These enhancements have had positive, proven results for roadway users. This paper discusses the planning, geometric design, and construction of various right-turn improvements in the City of Edmonton over the past 5 years, and examines the results of each treatment. The City of Edmonton identified intersections with high right-turn collision frequencies and reviewed potential changes to reduce collisions. Three core design options have been adopted in the City’s design standards: simple radius, high-entry angle, and low-exit angle/free flow. A detailed review of the locations and intersections was conducted, including overall collision and operational data. Projected intersection traffic data was reviewed to ensure acceptable level of service for the right turn movement after the improvement is implemented. Project constraints include existing land/road use, utilities, existing intersection geometrics, traffic/truck volumes, right-of-way, traffic control devices (signals), sight-lines, and constructability. Balance with other roadway users (pedestrians) and driver expectation and familiarity was also considered. An evaluation matrix was used to weigh the constraints and then engineering judgement was applied to determine the most applicable improvement for each location. The intent of this paper is to present several case-studies and explain the lessons learned through all phases of design and implementation of various right-turn improvements in the City of Edmonton. Project successes and challenges will be discussed. The City of Edmonton’s future strategies for right-turn improvements, including data collection and monitoring, will be presented.
The Deltaport Causeway Overpass in Vancouver B.C. was the centerpiece of a $45 million upgrade of the transportation infrastructure at Canada’s busiest container port terminal. The project included the design and construction of a curved overpass located on a narrow causeway in an area of highly sensitive soils. The aim of the project was to improve vehicle access to the terminal by separating road and railway traffic at a critical bottleneck junction, and to contribute an additional 200,000 container units of annual capacity at the port. This paper describes the technical challenges and the engineering solutions that were used to design the structures to accommodate the tight geometric constraints of the site while ensuring minimal impact to terminal operations. The key technical challenges included: 1. The design of very slender bridge columns due to the close proximity of the rail tracks. The innovative design used small-diameter reinforced concrete columns with an externally-bonded fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) wrap. The FRP wrap was designed to confine the concrete core, and ensure the columns had sufficient ductility to meet the structural design capacity; 2. The design of expanded-base concrete ‘Franki’ piles founded within a zone of stone-column ground improvement. Franki piles were the preferred piling system because the depth to bedrock precluded the installation of deep-pile foundations. The Franki piles were constructed by driving a zero-slump concrete mix out the bottom of a steel casing to form the load-bearing compression and tension bulbs; 3. The design of a state-of-the-art lightweight-fill solution for the bridge-approach embankments using expanded polystyrene (EPS) blocks, aka “geofoam”. The lightweight properties of EPS allowed the approaches to be constructed at a relatively shallow depth, and limited the weight applied to the load-sensitive foundation soils.
The Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee is a multi-stakeholder committee, comprised of government and non-government individuals, representing organizations from the Transportation, Tourism, Conservation, Education, Trail Building and Cycling communities. This Committee, through its work which began in January, 2013 has successfully protected more than 600 acres of public land under the Natural Areas Protection Act, constructed more than 20 kms of multi use trail on public land, and constructed a natural playground for the enjoyment and use of all.
Stantec was retained by the City of Winnipeg to complete a Functional Design Crossing Study over the CPR Yards located in North West Winnipeg. The Yards were constructed in the late 1800s at the outer limits of the City. Over one hundred years later, the Yards seem to divide the North End community of Winnipeg. There are three existing crossings over the 5km long and 1km wide Yards, located along McPhillips, Arlington and Salter Streets. The existing 37 span Arlington Street Bridge, constructed in 1912, is at the end of its functional life and is proposed to be decommissioned in approximately 5 years. The intent of the study was to develop a cost effective functional transportation plan for the removal of the existing Arlington Street Bridge and a preliminary decommissioning plan for the existing Bridge. Considering vehicular and active modes of transportation the transportation plan determined if and where a new crossing would be optimally located. The study addressed railway yard operations and coordination for the proposed decommissioning and new crossing construction. The transportation plan considered current and estimated traffic volumes in 2031. CPR was involved in the development of the decommissioning plan, which consisted of the removal of the spans in 6 - 10 hour track blocks via SPMT methods, as well as the new crossing concepts. The paper will discuss the plan in detail and how we addressed transportation and CPR requirements.
Blanding’s Turtles nest in the granular shoulders of roadways, burying eggs beneath the ground surface. Visual detection of nests is not possible. Highway rehabilitation can damage or destroy eggs from May 21 to October 31. Detection dogs were trained in Ontario to locate Blanding’s Turtles nests, a federally and provincially listed Species at Risk, along roadways. This work contributes directly to environmental protection during road infrastructure renewal and conservation of species at risk turtles.
The City of Calgary (The City) has a multimillion-dollar sidewalk replacement backlog. The condition-based preventive maintenance and the corrective maintenance are faced with challenges with limited manpower to conduct condition assessments and funding for sidewalk maintenance. A survey of the current sidewalk designs specified across major municipalities in Canada confirmed that the sidewalk structure in Calgary, including concrete thickness and the use of granular base materials, is one of the thinnest. The most common sidewalk damage/failure patterns in cold climates are well recognized, but the impact of the sidewalk design on the service life and the maintenance needs relies predominantly on limited inspections and reporting process for the asset. The structural assessment of different sidewalk designs was conducted using the finite element analysis (FEA). The model inputs were selected based on local climate and variations in concrete thickness, base material thickness, and soil conditions. A total of 36 models were analyzed for structural adequacy and the findings of the FEA formed the basis for the Best Construction Practices recommendations for concrete sidewalks in Calgary. The rationale behind the recommended changes to the sidewalk structure is discussed in conjunction with the need for a more stringent quality assurance and verification process. The life cycle cost analysis of selected designs is provided. The importance of data management to assess the effectiveness of the sidewalk repairs and to determine the rate of sidewalk deterioration is recognized.
Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) structures have been used in their current form since the early 1970s. MSE structures have become the solution of choice over traditional retaining wall systems due to their reduced material costs, ease of installation, and improved performance. This results in a retaining wall system that has a reduced carbon footprint when compared to other retaining wall systems such as Cast-in-Place wall systems. Design of MSE structures has progressed from using the Allowable Stress Design(ASD) method to the Load and Resistance Factored Design (LRFD) method. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official (AASHTO) implemented the LRFD method to design MSE structures in 2002 and has established load and resistance factors through calibration to the ASD method, experience and collaboration with the MSE industry. This paper will compare the design of an inextensible reinforced MSE wall system using the latest edition of Canadian Highway Bridge Code (CHBDC, CAN/CSA-S6-14) to the AASHTO (2014) LRFD Bridge Design Specification. This paper will demonstrate how the CHBDC new changes increase the cost of a typical MSE structure. Indirectly, it will demonstrate the present sustainability issues being faced with the current CHBDC design method including, an increase in the steel reinforcement required to be manufacture and the additional select MSE fill that will be required to be processed and shipped to site, resulting in an increase in the carbon footprint for the structure.
Toronto’s Transportation Services Division (TSD) developed and implemented the Clean Roads to Clean Air Program (CRCA) in 2005. The program helped to develop procedures and standards to evaluate the operational and environmental (PM10 and PM2.5 efficiency) performance levels of various street sweeper technologies, and created a framework for continual assessment and improvement of sweeping practices. A significant outcome of the program was the development of two sweeper testing protocols: “Operational On-Street”; “PM10 and PM2.5 Street Sweeper Efficiency”; and their respective performance criteria. These two testing protocols were adopted by the Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC) Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV (http://etvcanada.ca/), which provides third party verification services.
Concern for safety is one of the most important deterrents to increasing cycling. By conducting this project, the City is demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable transportation system and the high degree of importance placed on vulnerable road users in creating a safe, multi-modal transportation system. By focusing on targeted improvements to improve cycling safety, The City can help to make cycling more convenient, attractive, safe, and normal way to travel through the City. This project will help the City to achieve its targets related to increasing the mode share of sustainable transportation and reducing traffic related injuries and fatalities.
Over the past few decades, advances in technology has allowed electronics and computers in general to become more portable and to be able to store more data than ever before. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-destructive technology that is typically associated with archaeological studies, but has recently become more prevalent in civil engineering field with applications ranging from subsurface utility detection to structural concrete assessments. The principle of GPR technology is based on the reflection/transmission of microwave electromagnetic energy and recording its response to different materials, which are governed by two physical properties of the material; electrical conductivity and dielectric constant. For reflections to occur at different material interfaces, there must be a contrast in dielectric value (reflection produced at a boundary where the dielectric value changes). During subsurface material/void detection, depending on the size of the target, there will generally be a distinct reflection due to the contrast in dielectric between the subsurface materials and the target structure. Generally, GPR data is collected using two types of systems: air-coupled and ground-coupled systems. Air-coupled systems are typically vehicle mounted and use an antenna frequency between 1.0 to 2.0 GHz which is capable of a depth of penetration ranging from 0.75 m to 0.9 m below the ground surface. There are a large variety of ground-coupled systems, but typically are mounted using a cart with single, or multiple wheels depending on the size of the antenna and must have constant contact with the surface being scanned. Antenna frequencies range from 16 to 2,600 MHz with depth of penetration ranging from 0.3 m to 50 m. This paper presents several case studies using both air-coupled and ground-coupled GPR systems in pavement engineering applications ranging from void detection, Species at Risk (SAR) investigations, subsurface utility/structure detection and concrete reinforcement detection. The results of the case studies show that GPR is a non-destructive data collection method that can be used in several different ways to collect a large amount of data over a large area relatively quickly compared to typical investigation methods (coring or drilling). It is important to understand the limitations of the equipment (signal penetration, size of target, etc.), as well as the appropriate system to use in a specific situation (air-coupled vs. ground-coupled). Ground truth data was also critical in the data analysis and interpretation of the GPR scans. Additionally, using the utility survey cart-mounted antenna in a cross-polarized orientation aided in capturing data in a steel congested structural element and allowed the GPR engineers to help identify voids.
The Development of Crash Modification Factors program conducted the safety evaluation of cable median barriers in combination with rumble strips on the inside shoulder of divided roads for the Evaluation of Low cost Safety Improvements pooled Fund Study. This study evaluated safety effectiveness of cable median barriers in combination with rumble strips on the inside shoulders of divided roads. This strategy is intended to reduce the frequency of cross-median crashes, which tend to be very severe. Geometric, traffic, and crash data were obtained for divided roads in Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. To account for potential selection bias and regression-to-the-mean, an empirical Bayes before-after analysis was conducted using reference groups of untreated roads with characteristics similar to those of the treated sites. the analysis also controlled for changes in traffic volumes over time and time trends in crash counts unrelated to the treatment. In Illinois and Kentucky, cable median barriers were introduced many years after the inside shoulder rumble strips were installed; therefore, the evaluation determined the safety effect of implementing cable barriers along sections that already had rumble strips. Conversely, in Missouri, the inside shoulder rumble strips and cable barrier were implemented around the same time' Hence, the evaluation in Missouri determined the combined safety effect of inside shoulder rumble strips and cable barriers. The combined Illinois and Kentucky results indicate about a 27-percent increase in total crashes; a 24-percent decrease in fatal, incapacitating, non-incapacitating, and possible injury crashes; a 22-percent decrease in fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating injury crashes; and a 48-percent decrease in head-on plus opposite-direction sideswipe crashes (used as a proxy for cross-median crashes). The results from Missouri for total and injury and fatal crashes were very similar to the combined Illinois and Kentucky results. However, the reduction in cross-median crashes in Missouri was much more dramatic, showing a 96-percent reduction (based on cross-median indicator only) and an 88-percent reduction (based on cross-median-indicator plus head-on). The economic analysis for benefit-cost ratios shows that this strategy is cost-beneficial.
Communicating Science is a textbook and reference on scientific writing oriented primarily at researchers in the physical sciences and engineering. It is written from the perspective of an experienced researcher. It draws on the authors' experience of teaching and working with both native English speakers and English as a Second Language (ESL) writers. For the range of topics covered, this book is relatively short and tersely written, in order to appeal to busy researchers. Communicating Science offers comprehensive guidance on: Graduate students and early career researchers will be guided through the researcher's basic communication tasks: writing theses, journal papers, and internal reports, presenting lectures and posters, and preparing research proposals. Extensive best practice examples and analyses of common problems are presented. Advanced researchers who aim to commercialize their research results will be introduced to business plans and patents, so that they can communicate optimally with patent attorneys and business analysts. Likewise, advanced researchers will be assisted in conveying the results of their research to the industrial and business community, governmental circles, and the general public in the chapter on popular media.
Engineers and scientists of all types are often required to write reports, summaries, manuals, guides, and so forth. While these individuals certainly have had some sort of English or writing course, it is less likely that they have had any instruction in the special requirements of technical writing. This book enables readers to write, edit, and publish materials of a technical nature, including books, articles, reports, and electronic media.
The objective of this paper is to outline a potential framework for estimating grain tonnage through marine export corridors given an estimate for near term crop production. This methodology represents the first iteration of a short term predictive model for grain transport. The intent is to produce a monitoring tool that will provide forward looking guidance as to near term transport demand for grain. Near term is defined as the four quarters of an upcoming crop year. The end goal of the framework would be to provide an alert mechanism which will identify situations where the grain export supply chain is not performing according to its normal historical operating parameters.
The “exceptionalism” referred to in the title of this paper is largely, but not exclusively, rooted in Canada’s grain transportation policies – and specifically rooted in the former Crow’s Nest Pass rates on grain that came into effect in 1899. Their level was originally set under an agreement between the federal government and the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1925, the rates were legislated and extended to cover all rail movements of grain from the designated Prairie Provinces. They were more accurately called “the statutory rates,” but in everyday parlance, continued to be referred to simply as “The Crow.” Since 1982, the Crow rates have undergone several modifications, but unlike all other commodities in Canada, grain freight rates are still subject to control. The purpose of this paper is to trace grain transportation policy since the National Transportation Act (1967) and to consider the wisdom of its continuance.
Canada’s Grain Handling and Transportation System (GHTS) is a complex, multi-actor supply chain that transports the collective output of Western Canadian grain farmers to a variety of domestic and international markets. Over the last three decades the GHTS has had to address the handling needs of a harvest that has swelled from 40 to 60 million tonnes annually. One of the critical underpinnings in this supply chain is a fleet of about 22,000 covered hopper cars that are used to gather grain from a prairie rail network spanning over 17,000 route-miles in length. This fleet is an amalgam of equipment supplied by the federal government, two provincial governments, both major railways, shippers and third-party lessors. These hopper cars also represent a mix of both old and new equipment, that vary significantly in terms of physical size and carrying capacity. This paper surveys the evolution of the current hopper-car fleet, its present condition, and its ability to provide for the future handling needs of the GHTS. Finally, it points to some of the practical considerations inherent in replacing the publicly-supplied portion of this fleet, which now represents approximately half of the cars in service, as they approach the end of their economic life.