Wednesday, February 9, 2011

City Transportation Infrastructure projects win awards

Sometimes adversity leads to opportunities. In this case, the challenges of a S.W. ring road and the inability to build our way out of congestion in core areas, has led to innovative engineering solutions.

The City’s Transportation Infrastructure department has been recognized by the Consulting Engineers of Alberta 2011 Showcase Awards for three projects: An Award of Excellence in Project Management for the G37 Interchange – Stage 1 Detour (better known as the overpass at Glenmore and 37 Street S.W.); and two Awards of Merit: one in Community Development for the 17 Avenue S.E. Transportation Planning Study and one for Studies, Software & Special Services for the Reversible Lane Control Systems on Memorial Drive and downtown at Bow Trail and 5 Avenue.

These awards don’t come easily as many cities and companies compete for recognition of the great work being done around Alberta.

Travis Gaede, a Senior Transportation Engineer with Transportation Infrastructure, was on the Reversible Lane Control Systems team that was recognized for an Award of Merit, had this to say.

“It was cool because it had a lot of challenges. This is traffic optimization that has maintained safety and improved commuter times in a very cost effective way with no new pavement. We had so many contributors, several neighbouring construction sites and we tested during the winter. It feels great to be recognized by our peers on top of our own sense of project success.”

This award is granted based on the maximization of available road space using studies, technologies and software. In this project no new land could be used, the only option was to make better use of the land available – and that has definitely happened.

The Award of Merit for the 17 Avenue S.E. Transportation Planning Study is based on the vision of a multi-modal transportation corridor. This plan envisions an area that encourages transit, cycling and pedestrian traffic while planning for the heavy usage needs of cars and trucks. The City and its partners tried to balance traffic efficiency, environmental design and sustainability and this award says that they have done that.

The Award of Excellence in Project Management acknowledges the difficulties faced by planners and engineers. Project Engineer with Transportation Infrastructure, Duane Delaney, explains:

"The complexities range from the engineering-design work needed to take into account a possible southwest ring road to the communications work with local community representatives needed to facilitate listening and learning throughout construction; this project would not have been successful without the team that worked on it."

As iron sharpens iron, so to complex projects hone the skills of engineers. The City of Calgary is proud of the work done by all of its staff, but with these awards we are reminded that these engineers have earned their iron rings.

For more information on these projects, the awards and other interesting engineering projects, visit the Consulting Engineers of Alberta website at or read the brochure with our stories in it here

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