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2017 Minister’s Awards for Transportation Innovation

Province honours transportation innovation

The winners of the 2017 Minister’s Awards for Transportation Innovation represent diverse parts of Alberta and assorted areas of expertise.

These annual awards recognize the innovative people and organizations in Alberta who plan, design, construct, operate or maintain a roadway, transit service or related initiative.

“These awards celebrate transportation innovations, large or small, that are paving the way toward to more efficient, sustainable and safer transportation system in our province. I am proud to present these awards to those who use their skills and creativity to constantly elevate Alberta’s industry.”
- Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

 

Award of Excellence for Design Construction

Accelerated Bridge Repair using Cellular Concrete – MOST Engineering Ltd., TDM Engineering, Cematrix Cellular Concrete Solutions, and Alberta Transportation

Ivor Strong Bridge is a vital and high-volume corridor servicing the city of Calgary.

When Alberta Transportation set out to replace the deck joints at the abutments, the project team’s inspection revealed the undersides of the roof slabs were severely deteriorated. The slabs were deemed unsafe for the heavy traffic loads.

The project team developed a repair strategy using non-structural cellular concrete to fill the voids under the roof slabs. This eliminated the need for extensive repair or replacement. The roof slabs were transformed into slabs-on-grade supported by the cellular concrete and underlying compacted soil.

Award of Excellence for Construction Innovation

Ivor Strong Bridge ITS Integration and Traffic Management Project – ATS Traffic, Ver-Mac Inc., Innovative Civil Contractors Inc., Traffic Solutions Consulting Ltd., Alberta Transportation, MOST Engineering Ltd., and, TDM Engineering Ltd.

The Ivor Strong Bridge is the busiest section of the Deerfoot Trail. When the bridge required rehabilitation work in the spring of 2016, the project was designed to minimize traffic disruptions. Crews worked day and night, seven days a week to complete the project within a two-month window. But some disruptions could not be avoided.

To keep traffic moving, the project team used two Intelligent Transportation Systems. An Automated Queue Warning system notified travelers of slow traffic ahead. And an Alternative Routes System used real-time traffic data to help road users make informed travel decisions.

Award of Excellence for Environmental Innovation

Southern Alberta Rock Stabilization – Amec Foster Wheeler, McKnight Enterprises Ltd., and Alberta Transportation

As part of the Alberta Transportation flood mitigation program, three highway sites were identified as having a high risk for rock fall, debris flow and other flood related hazards.

The project team designed and implemented a solution that included a draped wire mesh system. The system needed to accommodate the movement of Big Horn Sheep across rock faces. The team completed a wildlife study using motion-activated video cameras to capture the sheep’s routes. Based on the outcome of the study, sheep path locations were identified and the draped mesh pattern was adjusted to accommodate these paths.

Award of Excellence for Safety Innovation

Highway 13 and Highway 21 Roundabout – Al-Terra Engineering Ltd., Ourston Roundabout Engineering, Border Paving Ltd., and Alberta Transportation

Although there were traffic signals at the intersection at Highway 13 and Highway 21, collision rates were two and a half times higher than the provincial average. Left turning vehicles were involved in more than half of the most severe collisions.

Alberta Transportation awarded a contract to upgrade the intersection to a roundabout.
The project team faced a challenge: how to safely accommodate traffic and minimize delays during construction. Their solution was to design a temporary detour around the intersection. The detour kept road users moving while isolating construction workers from traffic.

This new roundabout has reduced collision rates at the intersection.

Award of Excellence for Operational Innovation

Alberta Spatial Economic and Travel Model – HBA Specto Incorporated, and Alberta Transportation

Land use, economic development and transportation are closely linked. Until now, these links were not accounted for by existing analysis tools used by Alberta Transportation.

Through the Alberta Spatial Economic and Travel Model, Alberta Transportation has taken a new approach to analyzing investments in transportation infrastructure. This model measures the impacts of transportation facilities on travel demand, land use planning and economic growth.

This model is a first for Alberta.

Award for Excellence for Transit/Accessible

Cold Lake Transit – City of Cold Lake

Cold Lake City Council was determined to provide its community with a public transit system. But many considered such a sevice too costly and complex to succeed.

The Cold Lake Transit System began in early 2015, when the city acquired a fleet of pre-owned buses, minimizing their upfront capital investment.

The city was committed to providing a public transit system where one had not existed. Their outside of the box solution has exceeded all expectations. The system sees an average of over 2,200 rides per week, which saves an estimated 785 car trips in the same period.

 

The award winners were selected in early February by an awards evaluation committee consisting of representatives from Alberta Transportation, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.