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Plessis Road Twinning and Grade Separation at CN Redditt Subdivision: Design Challenges and Innovative Solutions


The Plessis Road Widening and Grade Separation (Underpass) at CN Redditt Subdivision was considered a Short Term City of Winnipeg (COW) project. Short Term projects have the highest priority for funding and a key driver for this project was the funding contribution by the Building Canada Fund, which was established under the 2007 Federal budget for projects from 2007 to 2014.
The COW awarded the preliminary and detailed design for the Plessis Road widening and grade separation at CN Redditt Subdivision in July 2012 to AECOM Canada Ltd. (AECOM) Construction on the first of five contracts began in summer 2013 and the project was substantially complete on October 3, 2016. Two lanes were opened to traffic in October of 2015 and all remaining lanes were open by September 2016.
The final project upgraded Plessis Road from a two lane undivided, road at‐grade crossing, to a four lane divided grade separated facility. The roadway services an industrial area, including truck traffic from CN’s intermodal facility located south of the project along Plessis Road.
The many challenges for the project included dealing with multiple stakeholders, maintaining rail traffic throughout the duration of the project and meeting a very short design and construction schedule. Major stakeholders in the area consisted of an oil pipeline valve station located on the northeast corner of the project, oil pipelines north of the CN mainline, CN double mainline track, the CN Transcona Maintenance Shops/Yard lead, the Malteurop Plant lead, Manitoba Hydro, MTS and Shaw.
Design challenges included providing clearance between the roadway surface and the underside of the rail bridge, which utilized through‐plate‐girders to achieve the minimal profile required, given that Dugald Road was located 300 m south of the tracks. A major land drainage channel for the COW, located on the south side of Dugald Road, could not be relocated without major cost implications and could not flow into the underpass area. The existing land drainage system was at capacity and the underpass runoff required storage prior to discharging into the existing system.
The end result was the successful completion of the project using alternative solutions from numerous engineering disciplines, with minimal disruption to the stakeholders involved. The increased road and rail traffic experienced the day the first two lanes opened, has proven that the project was required to meet travel demand forecasts.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Investing in Road Construction: Building Canada’s Economy
Worms, T.
Construction, Maintenance and operations