Chief Engineers' Council News - Winter 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

In this iss​ue:

Welcome from the Executive

The Chief Engineers’ Council oversees the development of TAC’s flagship technical guidelines, and the Council’s 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 Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 at TAC’s Spring Technical Meetings in Ottawa.

Council Chair: Angela Gardiner, City of Saskatoon
Council Vice-Chair: Paul Murchison, Yukon Highways and Public Works

Council Highlights: 2018 Fall Technical Meeting

The Chief Engineers’ Council met in Saskatoon on Sunday, September 30 and Monday, October 1. The Council received presentations on Transport Canada’s transportation funding programs, P3 projects in the City of Saskatoon, climate change and TAC’s Geometric Design Guide, cyber security and BC’s Traffic Management Centre, and the conversion of Montréal’s Bonaventure Expressway into a multimodal promenade. It also received a presentation on the results of a multi-year TAC project that researched the use of wider pavement markings for standard applications.

A lively roundtable discussion identified several emerging and priority issues, including Vision Zero action plans, extreme weather and related events, retention of young professionals, P3 project selection criteria, and design approaches to mitigate threats from hostile vehicles.

The Council also received updates from eight standing committees:

  • The Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee reported that three volunteer projects have finished and can proceed to a Council ballot for approval, and that a number of others are nearing completion. The committee’s pooled-fund project on wider pavement markings was also presented to the Council.
  • The Structures Standing Committee reported discussions on sustainability and service life design, CISC’s Bridge Fabricator Certification Program, and new highway interchanges in Saskatoon.
  • The Soils and Materials Standing Committee reported its completion of a discussion paper on warm mix asphalt, and its initiation of an owners working group.
  • The Road Safety Standing Committee has launched new volunteer projects on left-turn pedestrian collisions, roadside barriers, safety in P3 projects, and data storytelling for Vision Zero strategies. The committee has also drafted a new strategic plan, formed a new Road Safety Workforce Development Subcommittee, and prepared a road safety checklist for use by TAC committees when developing new projects.
  • The Pavements Standing Committee reported on two volunteer projects to deliver a pavement preservation workshop and develop a guide for Canadian users of AASHTO’s pavement design software. The committee heard presentations on precast concrete pavement inlays, critical commerce corridors, and sensors to monitor wide-base tire use as well as missing or low-pressure tires on dual-axle vehicles. The Automated Pavement Data Collection User Group also held its first meeting.
  • The Maintenance and Construction Standing Committee updated the Council on volunteer projects on pavement marking performance, culvert maintenance, road cuts and coring, and utility coordination for P3 projects. Other priority issues include connected and automated vehicles, and greenhouse gas emission reductions from construction.
  • The Geometric Design Standing Committee reported on ongoing volunteer projects related to Geometric Design Guide chapters on special roads, interchanges, cross-sections and access management. It discussed important issues around the publication of GDG revisions, design approaches to address risks from climate change, and the design impacts of connected and automated vehicles.
  • The Asset Management Task Force reported that a steering committee had been established for a project on performance-based decision making that was jointly sponsored by the TransportationFinance Standing Committee of the Urban Transportation Council. It discussed emerging issues including the integration of infrastructure resiliency and asset management practices for culverts and bridges, and opportunities to gather real-time roadway asset inventory and condition data using new sources such as connected and automated vehicle fleets.

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Council Highlig​hts: 2018 TAC Conference

The Council’s standing committees organized many technical sessions at the TAC Conference in Saskatoon, including the three summarized below. You can stream recordings of these and other conference sessions (audio and PowerPoint decks) at the TAC Online Learning Centre.

Innovations in Asset Management

On Monday, October 1 the Asset Management Task Force organized a session that presented recent work on geotechnical asset management in New Brunswick, the integration of underground utilities with pavement management in Vaughan, ON, and the use of data-driven methods to prioritize sidewalk construction in Surrey, BC. View the presentations

Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety

On Tuesday, October 2 the Road Safety Standing Committee organized a session that presented Vision Zero concepts and principles, Vision Zero studies for the City of Montréal, a road safety review of a highway in Belize, and a road safety plan for St. Albert, Alberta. View the presentations

Roundabout Challenges from Design to Operations

On Wednesday, October 3 the Geometric Design Standing Committee organized a session that presented two innovative roundabout case studies from British Columbia and Ontario, as well research into countermeasures to reduce merging collisions in multi-lane roundabouts. View the presentations

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Council Projects in Development

TAC continues to seek funding partners for these pooled-fund projects.

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. More details

Vehicle Loads Synthesis and Recommendations

The objective of this TAC project is to compile traffic and vehicle load data from various jurisdictions, and to 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. More details

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Council Projects in Progress

Best Practices for Evaluating Soil and Material Stabilization Products

This project will develop 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. More details

Best Practices for Pothole Repairs in Canada

This project, which will conclude in 2019, will identify best practices for pothole repairs in Canada and recommend strategies for temporary and long-term patching, as well as for evaluating and selecting patching products for different roadway surfaces and climates. More details

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 is expected to conclude in 2019. More details

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. More details

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. More details

Performance-Based Decision Making: Lessons Learned and Practitioner Toolkit

This project, now in its early stages, will examine performance-based evaluation, optimization and decision-making processes and techniques, and will recommend tools to support goals such as cross-asset optimization. Final deliverables are expected in 2021. More details

Volunteer Projects

In addition to the above pooled-fund projects, the Council’s standing committees are supporting more than 30 ongoing volunteer projects. More details

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TAC Awards

2019 TAC Volunteer Recognition Awards

Deadline – February 22
Help us recognize TAC volunteers who have made a real difference! Check out TAC’s new awards for 2019, including the Leadership Award, Individual Contribution Award, and Committee Excellence Award. They join our Distinguished Service Award, which remains TAC’s highest honour. Get more information or nominate a colleague or committee by February 22

City of London and SNC-Lavalin Recognized for Contributions to Road Safety

2018 TAC Road Safety Engineering Award
This 2018 award was shared by City of London and SNC-Lavalin. London’s Road Safety Strategy has six focus areas and integrated the results of innovative approaches to consultation. SNC-Lavalin developed a safety swing arm to prevent collisions with snow plows in low-visibility conditions. More details

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Upcoming TAC Learning Events

Community Road Safety in British Columbia

TAC webinar – February 19
This webinar will introduce the BC Community Road Safety Toolkit, which was designed to transfer best practices to cities and towns across the province; its three modules offer effective strategies and tools to enhance municipal road safety programs. The webinar will also profile the small community of Chilliwack, BC, which has shown how setting goals, building relationships and fostering engagement can yield big road safety rewards, even when resources are limited. Register for this webinar (FREE for TAC members and students, $20 for others)

Complete Streets Design: Creating Multimodal Streets in Retrofit Corridors

TAC seminar – May 7 (Vancouver) & May 9 (Toronto)
This one-day seminar will provide planners and designers with an overview of complete street design based on TAC’s 2017 Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads. It will focus on multimodal street design in urban environment with an emphasis on determining modal priority, identifying and making design trade-offs, and applying these approaches to concrete examples. Get more information or register for this seminar

Beyond the Guide: An Advanced Seminar in the Geometric Design of Roads

TAC seminarFebruary 11-12 (Edmonton), February 14-15 (Calgary), February 25-26 (GTA East), February 28-March 1 (GTA West), April 8-9 (Vancouver), April 11-12 (Victoria), April 29-30 (Winnipeg), May 2-3 (Saskatoon)
This two-day seminar for experienced road designers will address nine real-world geometric design challenges for Canadian road. Participants will be expected to participate actively in assessing and shaping potential design solutions, and in discussing actual final designs from the standpoint of practicality, potential user challenges, and general risks and cost-effectiveness. Get more information or register for this seminar

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Miss a TAC Webinar? Watch it Now

Watch these and other recorded webinars on demand at the TAC Online Learning Centre.

Complete Streets: Key Challenges and Lessons Learned

TAC webinar – December 4, 2018
This webinar examined challenges faced by complete street projects. Speakers addressed the Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscape Project in Halifax, the Main Street Renewal project in Ottawa, and the art of making trade-offs when designing complete streets. View the webinar (FREE for TAC members and students, $15 for others)

Bicycle Highways: What Canada Can Learn from International Experience

TAC webinar – November 20, 2018
This webinar provided an overview of bicycle highway planning, design and implementation, with speakers from British Columbia and London, UK. View the webinar (FREE for TAC members and students, $15 for others)

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