The Chief Engineers’ Council oversees the development of TAC’s flagship technical guidelines, and its standing committees organize many of the sessions at the annual TAC Conference. Geometric design, structures, traffic operations, pavements, soils and materials, asset management, road safety, maintenance and construction… we do it all!
Meetings of the Council are open to all TAC members, and we especially encourage attendance by young professionals. Join us at our next gathering on Sunday, September 22 and Monday, September 23 at TAC’s Fall Technical Meetings in Halifax.
Council Chair: Angela Gardiner, City of Saskatoon
Council Vice-Chair: Paul Murchison, Yukon Highways and Public Works
The Chief Engineers’ Council met in Ottawa on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7. The Council received presentations on the Vision Zero movement in Canada, the City of Toronto’s work to mitigate threats from hostile vehicles, a survey of Council members on alternative procurement practices, and a completed project on transportation and health by the Urban Transportation Council. It also received final presentations on two Chief Engineers’ Council projects: Best Practices for Pothole Repairs in Canada, and a new Special Roads chapter in the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, both of which will proceed to approval by ballot.
The Council’s regular roundtable discussion focused primarily on climate change, and identified a number of emerging and priority issues including rainfall and drainage impacts on infrastructure and land uses, freeze-thaw impacts on roadways, deteriorating asphalt quality, storm impacts on coastal erosion and infrastructure, municipal resiliency staffing and strategies, and assessing the impacts of projects on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Council also received updates from eight standing committees, summarized below.
The Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee reported that the recent volunteer project on decorative crosswalks will be converted to a pooled-fund study. New volunteer projects will address crossrides at right-turn channels, active mode symbols, and active mode signal timing.
The Structures Standing Committee reported on several presentations, and noted emerging issues with steel bridges including globally-sourced material standards and training for bridge fabrication inspectors.
The Soils and Materials Standing Committee reported on presentations addressing Portland limestone cement, warm-mix asphalt and hot-mix asphalt, and noted emerging issues include drone use, asphalt binders, climate change, and 3-D printing.
The Road Safety Standing Committee reported its adoption of a new three-year strategic plan, and discussions about street lighting, Vision Zero, legislative changes, and roadside barriers. It also highlighted a proposed pooled-fund project to develop a road safety webinar series.
The Pavements Standing Committee noted that it received presentations on ground penetrating radar, Iqaluit airport construction, fibre in asphalt mixes, and permeable pavers. It reported a new volunteer project on benchmarking agency pavement performance measures, and progress on a pooled-fund project proposal on consistency and performance measures when systems for pavement condition data collection are upgraded.
The Maintenance and Construction Standing Committee reported that it heard a presentation on 2018 flooding in New Brunswick, and that emerging issues include cannabis and fitness for work, and the management of pilots, offers, trials and sales in large agencies. The committee has a number of volunteer and pooled-fund projects underway.
The Geometric Design Standing Committee reported volunteer work to update Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads chapters on interchanges, cross-section elements, and access management. It also noted that a new chapter on special roads is ready for approval by the Chief Engineers’ Council.
The Asset Management Task Force reported that it heard a presentation on pavement marking reflectivity, and discussed best practices for asset data collection. It noted growing interest in the integration of climate-resilient infrastructure and asset management, particularly for drainage (i.e. culverts and bridges). It also noted approval of a new pooled-fund project on location referencing in asset management.
The Council’s standing committees are planning more than 25 technical sessions at this year’s conference in Halifax:
At its April meeting, the Chief Engineers’ Council approved the following awards for presentation at the 2019 TAC-ITS Canada Joint Conference in Halifax.
2019 TAC Individual Contribution Award
Ania Anthony (Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways & Infrastructure) has been on the Executive of the Soils and Materials Standing Committee since 2013. She is also a member of the Pavements Standing Committee, where she co-authored a report on the impacts of Wide Base Single Tires on pavements. Ania has chaired the Project Steering Committees for Best Practices for Evaluating Soil and Material Stabilization Products, and the Guide to Load Management for Weak Pavement Structures. She is a trusted voice within TAC, representing the Saskatchewan perspective and investing her time and expertise in national conversations on pavements and road materials.
2019 TAC Road Safety Engineering Award
The City of Calgary uses Traffic Calming Curbs (TC Curbs) to traffic calm streets quickly, at a low cost. Pre-cast TC Curbs can physically alter a space in hours without impacting utilities or drainage, at one tenth the cost of conventional traffic calming methods. TC Curbs are modular and easily adjusted, can be pinned to the pavement, are reinforced to be driven over, and use pigmented and sulphate-resistant cement for durability. They are a useful tool to encourage safer road use by changing the road environment.
2019 TAC Committee Excellence Award
The Road Safety Workforce Subcommittee played a key role in the development of the Road Safety Professional certification program by the Transportation Professional Certification Board. It has also researched road safety programs at Canadian universities and colleges, compiled educational and training resources, scanned organizational training practices, and developed a detailed pooled-fund project proposal for a webinar series that would provide comprehensive road safety training to practitioners.
Three new publications arising from the work of the Chief Engineers’ Council will be available soon through the online Bookstore. Notices will be posted online when they are published. Get more information
Best Practices for Pothole Repairs in Canada
This report will identify current Canadian agency practices for pothole repair, and outline best practices from both Canadian and international agencies. It recommends temporary and long-term patching strategies for summer and winter, and for evaluating and selecting appropriate patching products for chip seal and asphalt roadways. It also recommends guidelines for the evaluation of new patching products and their compatibility with native road surfaces. It resulted from a pooled-fund project of the Soils and Materials Standing Committee.
Special Roads – Chapter 11, Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads
This chapter will include a classification of special roads to meet the special service requirements of road agencies across Canada. It provides guidelines that support safe and effective road function and ensure standardization while being compatible with present economic requirements. It was developed by volunteers of the Geometric Design Standing Committee.
Guide for the Design of Roadway Lighting
This update of TAC’s 2006 publication will discuss the safety benefits of proper roadway lighting, trends in energy-efficient lighting, and the need to consider alternatives to lighting. Volume 1 addresses fundamental theories and principles, while Volume 2 applies them to a variety of on-road (with warrants) and off-road facilities. It was developed by volunteers of the Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee.
Best Practices and Toolkit for Location Referencing in Transportation Asset Management
This project will identify best practices and recommend tools and techniques for agencies of different sizes, resource constraints and GIS implementation maturity. It will show how GIS can support agencies in moving from individual asset management systems to enterprise asset management solutions, supporting their overall asset management frameworks. It was recently proposed by the Asset Management Task Force, and has an estimated funding requirement of $133,000. Funding partners are required. Get more information
Guide to Bridge Deck HMA Paving in Canada
This project will create a new guide to the use of hot-mix asphalt for paving bridge decks, based on a literature review and a survey of Canadian agencies. It will develop key performance indicators, selection criteria, a flowchart for individual projects, suggested specifications for various alternatives, and construction QA/QC minimum requirements and test procedures. It has been proposed by the Soils and Materials Standing Committee, and has a funding requirement of $160,000 which has been 34% met by four committed funding partners. Additional funding partners are required. Get more information
Road Safety Webinar Series
This project will create a series of recorded webinars to provide practitioners with essential aspects of road safety training, with modules that explore issues including measurement, human behavior, problem solving, and program implementation. It was recently proposed by the Road Safety Standing Committee, and has an estimated funding requirement of $145,000. Funding partners are required. Get more information
Vehicle Loads Synthesis and Recommendations
This project will compile traffic and vehicle load data from various jurisdictions, and determine the adequacy of traffic load provisions in the Canadian Highway Bride Design Code as well as standard agency-specific truck factors for pavement design. It will develop a discussion paper with recommendations about vehicle loadings and truck pavement design equivalent single-axle load factors. It was proposed jointly by the Structures Standing Committee and Pavements Standing Committee, and has a funding requirement of $100,000 which has been met by 12 funding partners. Get more information
Best Practices for Evaluating Soil and Material Stabilization Products
This project is developing a synthesis of best practices for evaluating soil and material stabilization treatments, and recommend guidelines to help Canadian agencies evaluate and select soil stabilization products to support long-term roadway performance. It was proposed by the Soils and Materials Standing Committee, and will conclude in 2020. Get more information
Bicycle Infrastructure in Canada: Safety Performance (Present & Future)
This project will help practitioners evaluate the safety performance of bicycle facilities. The main deliverable will be a supplement to TAC’s Traffic Signal Guidelines for Bicycles (2014) and Bikeway Traffic Control Guidelines for Canada (2012), and will include case studies on the safety performance of different bicycle facility types as well as safety heuristics. It was proposed by the Road Safety Standing Committee, and is expected to conclude in 2019. Get more information
Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook (CRaSH) Scoping Study
This project will recommend an approach to completing TAC’s multi-publication Canadian Road Safety Engineering Handbook, establishing it as the primary reference for road safety engineering in Canada. It will review existing elements of the Handbook and other road safety publications used by Canadian practitioners, and consider emerging technologies as well as other risks and challenges. It was proposed by the Road Safety Standing Committee. Get more information
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada - Sixth Edition
This complex, multi-year project will create a new edition of TAC’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC) and its accompanying Sign Pattern Manual, featuring an overall review and many new or updated sections. Publication of the new MUTCDC is expected in 2021. It was proposed by the Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee. Get more information
Performance-Based Decision Making: Lessons Learned and Practitioner Toolkit
This project will examine performance-based evaluation, optimization and decision-making processes and techniques, and will recommend tools to support goals such as cross-asset optimization. It was proposed jointly by the Asset Management Task Force and the Urban Transportation Council’s Transportation Finance Standing Committee. Final deliverables are expected in 2021. Get more information
In addition to the above pooled-fund projects, the Council’s standing committees are supporting more than 30 ongoing volunteer projects. Get more information