expresso: convergence

fall 2018





Newsletter/Publication-External-Digital Society for Marketing Professional Services, Marketing Communications Awards

Best External Publication Canadian Public Relations Society, National Awards of Excellence

We are proud to let you know that our last issue, women at EXP , has been recognized for its progressive approach and norm-shattering content in Canada and the US. We appreciate all the positive reviews and constructive feedback you have provided. We hope to continue the trend with another impactful issue that showcases the projects that demonstrate how we understand, innovate, partner and deliver for our valued clients.

Emmanuelle Landry Corporate Communications Director

welcome to expresso

By bringing together a diverse set of people, ideas, technology, engineers and architects, our team is able to concentrate our efforts on one focal point – the project. Urban population trends place demands on our utilities and infrastructure. Agricultural production and rural lifestyle can come into conflict with suburban expansion. Transporting resources could have unintended environmental consequences. Competing interests abound. To tackle the unique needs of our clients, we bring together different skills, disciplines and design options to offer innovative solutions that best reflect their stated goals. This issue showcases how our people are shaping the future of what it means to be a community, through the convergence of engineering, architecture and construction.

Mark Dvorak President + Chief Operating Officer

table of



Developing University District was an education for all

Contributors: Nadia Abou Éric Bellavance Greg Bodnarchuk Ashley Brown Steve Burden Steve Cormier Julie Cormier Ivan Dvorak Mark Dvorak Danny Gilbey Douglas Hansen Megan King


Innovative process provides high-tech healthcare

Graham Lancaster Emmanuelle Landry Marie-Hélène Laneville Patrick Lavin Jean-Yves Lavoie Ji Won Noh Vinod Patel Christopher Rebong

Douglas Stewart Mindy Viamontes


Synergy + confluence: The story behind an innovative project


EXP’s services point to the “True North”


When silence is golden


The superstack that binds us


Design and law enforcement meet at the crossroads


A new CTA station for the City of Broad Shoulders


Bridging the community back together


Regional gateway revitalizes community

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Known for its rumbling Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations, historic architecture and miles of public beaches, it is obvious that the City of Chicago does not take a backseat to moving forward. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has made a commitment to improving the city’s public transportation. To support this effort, EXP sought to design a modernized station, converging Chicago’s history with updated and efficient transportation features. In 2017, in the dense urban environment of historic Jeweler’s Row, CTA Washington/Wabash Elevated Train Station, affectionately known as “WaWa,” is the combination of two 120-year-old stations. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared the station, “a

new gold standard for what a new ‘L’ station should look like.” As the project manager, I was very proud of the accomplishments our team made on WaWa. The design we worked diligently to create, contributed to the evolution of public transportation in Chicago. The demolition and consolidation of the aging Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash stations into one had been decided decades earlier, in the 1981 Master Plan for the Loop Elevated Systems. This new station would address the shortcomings of the two stations, while still serving riders of the Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple lines on the elevated tracks.

A new gold standard for what a new ‘L’ station should look like.” Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor

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A once dark platform was now redesigned with skeletal steel and faceted glass. The undulating effect of the canopies was achieved using tapered steel ribs that vary in upward tilt and length. To enhance this unique feature, the guardrails were laser cut from simple rectangular steel flats to achieve the desired effect. Now fully constructed, the modern skeletal steel and faceted glass structure create a dynamic play of light, alluding to diamond facets and the immediate Jeweler’s Row context. From the platform, the canopy serves as a deliberate contrasting frame that captures views of the historic Wabash Avenue facades.

Our project team, in coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation and CTA, recognized the importance of converging the old stations’ historic location with the new station’s potential. During the two years of design, our multi- disciplined team sought to revive Chicago’s aging transportation infrastructure and conceptualize a new future for public transit. Therefore, to transform the station beyond its primary use, we created an innovative design to enhance and reflect

< Mindy Viamontes

the historical surroundings, including structural canopies on the train platform that not only converged history with modern technology but form with function. During this time, it was my responsibility to work with our client to ensure all stakeholders continued to have a voice, including the merchants located on Jeweler’s Row who would be impacted by the construction schedule. The design of the canopies was simple, polished and purposeful. The canopy steel was designed to integrate all utilities (gutters, downspouts, conduit, lighting, communications and signage) within the profiles, thus yielding a streamlined, uncluttered appearance, eliminating surfaces for trash accumulation and bird roosting.

The design process not only considered the form and function of the completed station but took phasing and constructability into consideration. WaWa required construction on all three levels – the street, mezzanine and platform – to incorporate their historic elements with modern features. Our efforts included making every attempt to minimize disruptions in daily train services (613 trains pass through this site daily), pedestrian access to sidewalks and businesses located in Jeweler’s Row. Developing an implementation strategy alongside city officials and local business owners contributed to the overall project’s success. Converging historical surroundings with modern designs and functionality now offers Chicago riders at WaWa the opportunity to enjoy accessibility, safety and security. The project has also been received very well by the client, and our industry peers. Architecture critic Blair Kamin noted in his August 30, 2017 review that WaWa is, “. . . an impressive gateway,” noting that “. . . the designers, Chicago-based EXP, have created an authentic blend of form and function, not a superficial exercise in Calatrava Lite.” Kamin also stated that Washington/Wabash is, “. . . a considerable achievement, one that brings Chicago’s storied Loop fully into the 21st Century.” And today, as I stand on the WaWa platform, embracing the reflection of light bouncing off the surrounding architecture, I am reminded of the collaboration, technical expertise and historical aspects that converged to enhance this great city’s transportation system. Looking back, it is important to remind ourselves that this innovative design did not evolve without a careful evaluation of the past and a hopeful vision for Chicago’s future. With an iconic design, a touch of “Chicago- hustle”, and a collaborative team, we were able to convert something old into something new and keep pieces of history ingrained in the foundation. In its entirety, Washington/Wabash Elevated Train Station tells a story of Chicago’s past, and just as importantly, shows us we are constantly moving forward.

13,375 anticipated daily riders

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Offering over 6,000 new housing units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space on nearly 200 acres, we’re building the foundation of a new, vibrant community. From the start, we wanted to incorporate the most advanced green and connective technologies, and leverage recycled and reused materials, leading to the first community in Alberta to achieve LEED-ND Platinum status (see sidebar). For residents and businesses, it brings together all the amenities you’d expect, with the services and experiences you want for an urban lifestyle.

I’ve always wanted to work on something like this – a clean slate! As a brownfield project, we’re essentially starting from scratch, redeveloping and re-purposing the land to meet the evolving needs of the community, in this case, the University District in Calgary.


Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system that integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into an internationally recognized system for neighborhood design. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development’s location and design meet accepted high levels of environmentally responsible and sustainable development. To qualify, projects must meet specific requirements under four main categories: smart location and linkage, neighborhood pattern and design, green infrastructure and buildings, innovation and design process, and regional priority.

We worked to ensure it was thoughtfully and sustainably planned, designed to embrace the natural environment, yet allow people to move with ease to all the places where they work, live and play. In all, it’s been a collaborative effort between dedicated partners committed to creating something special for the city. It comes with its own challenges, of course. The engineering requires a specific expertise and some nimble planning to allow all the work to happen. We were fortunate in that we have had great experiences with leading similar projects for the client, including the nearby East Village project. It was certainly advantageous when addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders, and meeting the standards and specifications set out in the project scope. The interesting thing about working with so many different stakeholders is that I identify with almost all of them. We’re all residents of somewhere, and so we all have certain expectations, or at least preferences, about what our neighborhoods need. As a family man, I understand the importance of safety features for children and people with accessibility or mobility issues. As part of EXP, and as an engineer, I see the importance of the physical, and the virtual, infrastructure. As a citizen, I have a whole other set of requirements. It gets complicated quickly. That’s why I’m so grateful to have a design team that I can rely on to help find the right balance of technical requirements and community needs.

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*Rendering courtesy of West Campus Development Trust

In the design process, we placed emphasis on the public realm. We incorporated new lighting standards to decrease light pollution, made streetscapes pedestrian friendly, included enhanced storm water management, explored opportunities for water re-use and ensured public spaces are accessible for everyone. Our holistic approach also led to innovative surface treatments so that intersections became tactile experiences for those with visual impairments. I can say with confidence that time, attention, care and thought have been put into all of the University District’s sustainability commitments. Our three-pronged approach, across environmental, social and financial sustainability pillars, led to international recognition with a LEED-ND Platinum designation; a nod to being a leader in building

an accessible and connected community, and long-term stewardship for residents and retailers alike.

6,000+ new housing units 250,000 square feet of commercial space

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I’m a structured person. I like defined processes. I like documented procedures. That’s why I’m certain I could never be a doctor. The organized chaos of emergency rooms, the unpredictability of hundreds of patients with individual concerns and needs would quickly overwhelm me. But, if you were to ask me to design an efficient medical center, I’m in. The new Jacobs Medical Center patient tower represents a significant step forward for the University of California San Diego (UCSD) as they transform the Thornton Healthcare Campus from a community hospital into a nationally recognized academic medical center. Supporting UCSD’s growing Thornton Healthcare Campus, the new 10-story patient bed tower connects to the existing Thornton Hospital and Cardiovascular Center. Bringing an additional 245 inpatient beds and 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms, the patient tower is one of the first in the healthcare industry to feature inter-operative MRI operating rooms. Looking at everything UCSD was looking to achieve, including targeting LEED certification, I understood that we needed a new process to make it possible. We needed to make an impact with our mechanical, electrical and plumbing services, fire protection, and lighting design.

Oftentimes, innovation doesn’t come from creating something brand new... it comes from customizing something to suit your needs. For instance, I’m a big proponent of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Integrated projects are uniquely distinguished by having a process that ensures we have effective collaboration with the client and constructor, commencing at early design and continuing through to project handover. The process is usually agreed to in the contract. Knowing that IPD can be extremely helpful, absent the stipulation in the contract, we had to innovate a viable alternative that we eventually dubbed IPD Lite amongst our team. It has proven the test of time, and we have shared our experience around the organization to support the success of others.

What differentiates our approach is the blend of traditional and new technologies.

What differentiates our approach is the blend of traditional and new technologies. Information sharing was at the core of the process, building trust and promoting transparency. Meetings would be regular and happen in person, on screen, or a combination of the two. The design we proposed featured one of the largest variable air volume HVAC systems in a large hospital project, projected to reduce energy consumption

costs by an estimated $400,000 per year. A new central energy plant provides chilled water, steam and emergency generator power for the entire campus and can expand to support another 500,000 square feet of future building space. In the end, we found a way to save time, effort and money by adjusting a process that allowed us to learn and implement changes on the fly. That’s the kind of chaos I can get behind!

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As the tallest chimney in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world, the Sudbury Superstack is a mining, engineering and cultural marvel. Standing 1,250 feet tall, it is a symbol of Ontario’s proud industrial history. Long before I became a structural engineer, I was immersed in intriguing facts told by a humble superstack constructor, my grandfather - a superstack scaler. As the proud grandson of Lucien Cormier (1921-2002), I understood that the Superstack was an unparalleled engineering achievement. His work on the Superstack began after a career as a farmer and carpenter in Nédélec, Quebec. Leaving his dairy farm and family behind with a hope to gain work building the Superstack, my grandfather went to Sudbury, Ontario. In 1969, Lucien was hired by the International Nickel Company (INCO) and began work on constructing the Superstack. After working for INCO for a year, Lucien advised his family to come, visit and consider relocating to Sudbury, which they eventually did. Lucien played a

critical role in fostering a more sustainable human and natural environment for the city of Sudbury. As a superstack constructor, he supported the great chimneys development and contributed to the goal of diffusing sulfuric gases and other chemical byproducts caused by the smelting process. I was proud of my grandfather’s legacy of constructing the Superstack, which led me to a pursue a career in engineering and construction. Once hearing stories of previous workers building the Stack at inches per hour; I knew that working on the Superstack would remain one of my lifelong dreams. However, stories of crews climbing to make over 624 adjustments every hour as the 200-ton tower and platform was raised on 52 adjustable steel yokes that climbed jack-rods by double acting 5-ton hydraulic jacks, not only made me nervous but inspired me. The Superstack was designed to carry gases at 55 miles per hour at over 600 degrees Fahrenheit, vital steps were taken to ensure the success of the environmental operation, including twelve monitoring stations placed at strategic points throughout the flue system to determine dust burden, temperature and volume of gas flow. The time came for me to answer my generation’s superstack mission, and without a doubt, I answered that call in his honor. As an intermediate structural engineer at EXP, I was offered to participate in a two-year assignment with Vale (the

< Steve Cormier (center), his father (left) and grandfather, Lucien Cormier (right)

company that purchased INCO) for the Stack Expansion project, comprising of preventative maintenance to the Superstack. This involves maintenance on the interior concrete shell inspection from 1,250 feet to ground level and removal of the deteriorated concrete which poses the risk of falling material, liner steel work inspection and repairs, breach wall inspection and repairs, external concrete inspection and repairs and removal of the steel band around the top exterior of the Stack. There may also be a new bulkhead installed at 292 feet elevation to prevent the fall of materials. I would work closely with Vale’s Structural Engineer of Record in administering the Stack Repair project. Now, 48 years after my grandfather scaled the Superstack for the very first time, it would be my turn to make my first climb. I would do so safely harnessed with a mission to support the reduction of my generation’s environmental footprint. In doing so, two distant generations converged on the same project to address each of our generations’ needs. While my grandfather, Lucien Cormier, built the Superstack inch by inch, I continue to conduct repairs and maintenance to prepare for its potential decommissioning. Today, the Superstack faces an uncertain fate. Two 450- foot smaller stacks, that would be more efficient and require far less energy to operate, are being constructed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Despite the possibility of the Superstack’s decommissioning in the future, I remain grateful for each opportunity to carry on my grandfather’s legacy of scaling the Superstack to preserve a more environmentally sustainable future for the next generation. With every climb, repair, maintenance, and quality assurance check, I am reminded of the convergence between a town’s history and our family’s legacy. As for my grandfather and I, there will forever be the Superstack that binds us.

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A bridge is never just a bridge. It symbolizes a pathway, accessibility, and a connection between two distant places connecting people, places, communities and culture. As a senior civil engineer, I have worked on many bridges throughout my career, but when I was assigned to work on the 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge, I realized that this bridge project was the opportunity to forge a partnership between the Bronzeville community and the Chicago lakefront, a relationship that had long been neglected. This strategically designed bridge was also meant to forge another important relationship; with the natural environment in which it would be encompassed. The project began in 2004 when EXP competed and won the Bridging the Drive competition hosted by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a contest designed to involve the local community in the selection of concept bridge designs. As residents near the 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge are separated from Lake Michigan, the lakefront bike trail and other recreational opportunities in Burnham Park by six rail lines carrying frequent commuter and freight trains and by South Lake Shore Drive, the bridge meets the critical need of providing access between the Bronzeville community and the lakefront.

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As a project team, we were committed to accomplishing two specific goals for 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge. The first was to restore the relationship between the community and the lake and the second was to establish a connection between the bridge and its surrounding local environment.

The previous bridge, built in 1933, was rapidly deteriorating and was not compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

< Douglas Hansen

The declining condition, outdated and unattractive design, staircases on both ends, and poor lighting made it unappealing for cyclists and pedestrians, thereby discouraging the community from accessing the Chicago lakefront, and lakefront users from accessing attractions in the Bronzeville community, including the Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Memorial at the west end of the bridge. Today, 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge is a mono-cable, self-anchoring suspension bridge that crosses Lake Shore Drive at 620-feet long, it is Chicago’s longest pedestrian bridge. While the bridge design, itself, exhibits power, strength and balance, it also represents the power to bridge the community back together with essential features in the area, the lake and the environment.

620 feet long

The progression of bringing these goals into reality required extensive collaboration with our client and with our own team of experts. One of the ways we met the project’s goal of restoring the partnership between the community and the lakefront was to design the bridge to be ADA-accessible by replacing the stairs with ramps, to ensure bicyclists, pedestrians and the entire community could access and enjoy the bridge. To meet the second goal, our team recognized the need for both ends of the bridge to be compatible with the adjacent environment. At the west bridge landing are two important destinations: the Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Memorial operated by the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency (IHPA), and the Cardinal Meyer Center which houses the headquarters for the Archdiocese of Chicago. The project team coordinated with the IHPA to ensure the design complimented the existing fencing surrounding the tomb’s site. In coordination with the alderman, new Gateway 2000 lighting (poles designed to provide illumination over large areas of the right-of-way as effectively as possible) from the city of Chicago lighting palette was provided along 35th Street and South Lake Park Avenue. On the east end of the bridge, the project team coordinated with the Chicago Park District to connect the bridge with the Lakefront Trail and to provide a look-out at the end of the bridge to sit and relax. These design elements uniquely tied the bridge in with the adjacent environment, all while meeting the needs and desires of the community. From inception to completion, 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge challenged the traditional idea of coming together. With this bridge, the Bronzeville community and the lakefront were finally united and historical landmarks and new opportunities merged. As a newly formed civil icon for the city of Chicago, 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge not only provides an iconic and striking bridge for motorists on Lake Shore Drive to enjoy, but it also gives back to the community and the environment by providing an anchor of hope for what’s to come.

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When the City of Sherbrooke turned to us to upgrade the J.M.-Jeanson drinking water production plant, little did we know that this project would mark a turning point in the way we, and the next generation of engineers would design systems and plants that ensure the quality of the water we drink every day. The order was tall and complex: designing a drinking water production plant capable of serving a growing population, equipping it with a much more sophisticated and complex treatment chain, ensuring environmental sustainability, safeguarding operators and neighboring residents, reducing operating costs, and the list goes on! And it all had to happen in a tight space without interrupting drinking water production for the city’s 160,000 residents. It was an exciting and rewarding project for us and the small team of EXP employees whose skills and commitment we knew would lead us to success. Of course, this multifaceted project would not be simple. Sourced from Lake Memphremagog, the water that needs to be treated appears quite clear to the naked eye. Because the raw water was so lightly loaded, a conventional treatment system, with settlers and regular filters, was not an option. In-situ pilot testing conducted by our team using direct filtration and pressure- driven ultrafiltration showed that, even with coagulation, such processes were, at best, only adequate. We had to find a better solution, and that’s exactly what Julie did.

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For me, designing systems that provide people with quality drinking water is a way of contributing to enhancing people’s quality of life. In this case, our client, the City of Sherbrooke, also shared the same desire to go above the standard requirements and expectations. The collaboration that was quickly established with the City allowed us to bring the project to another level. Their needs were well

compact enough for the limited space we had to work with. Each of us had to deal with design criteria that were essentially dictated by the other’s design work. Combining all elements to achieve a perfect fit forced us both to change the way we usually work and fuse our skills and experience. We discussed the project every week and all the decisions we made, we made together.

defined, their expectations were clear and they stemmed from hands-on experience of the existing plant’s operation. Designing the water treatment system was one key element of this complex project but designing a facility that could house the treatment system was an entirely different piece we had to conquer. Fortunately, challenging plant design was right up Jean-Yves’s alley. While Julie is the water treatment expert and was busy designing the filtration system, I took on the challenges associated with designing the plant. We needed the building to be able to house a treatment chain that would be much larger than the existing treatment system—as filtration was now required under the new regulation—but also

Julie Cormier (left) and Jean-Yves Lavoie (center) with Kathy Baid, President of OIQ

With today’s increased focus on sustainable development and community participation, social acceptability of the project was also at the core of our scientific approach. We wanted the upgraded plant to reflect the City’s commitment to its residents on matters such as safety, environmental protection and financial viability. And we did it. For example, by replacing chlorine gas — highly toxic and volatile — with its liquid form, we made the plant safer for its operators and for the thousands of people who live, study and work right across the street at the Sherbrooke University campus. We chose equipment and designed a process that keeps energy consumption, use of chemicals and discharge to sewer to a minimum. By making sure we used the best and most up-to-date technology — even when it meant changing part of the plan because a previously unaffordable technology had suddenly become affordable — we were able to transform the existing installation to house what was, at the time, Quebec’s largest drinking water membrane filtration system and the world’s largest very-high-frequency ozonation system, increasing the plant’s footprint by no more than 1,165 m2. And, by creating a treatment process that doesn’t require chemicals other than chlorine to be added to the treatment chain, we were able to preserve several of the source water’s unique properties, including those that make it taste so good. We accomplished these milestones within deadlines and 10% under budget, which, of course, also pleased our client. This plant is one of the projects we’re most proud of, and not just because it’s a state-of-the-art facility equipped with a highly innovative treatment process. We’re proud because it has already inspired similar projects that will, in turn, inspire others. And that’s what engineering is all about: working together to drive progress and build a better, safer, and healthier tomorrow. Working so closely with another person was also a very rewarding experience. It changed our perspective, it transformed the way we communicate, and in the end, it’s what allowed us to deliver a project that exceeded expectations, including our own. And, as a bonus, we get to be the two to go up on the stage to receive the awards!

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The new Illinois Route 104 (IL-104) bridge over the Illinois River is a story about collaboration, partnership and community. As an important project for the region, I am excited about how our team, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the community converged to find viable and innovative solutions. IL-104 crosses the Illinois River in the village of Meredosia, a small, rural community in Morgan County, IL. Built in 1936, the existing two-lane truss bridge was deemed functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. As a backbone of the region’s transportation network, the existing bridge was important to residents, the region’s many farmers, commercial trucking interests and other businesses in the region. Closure of the bridge would have significant adverse impacts on traffic and the region’s economy. Our team embarked upon a preliminary engineering study and environmental assessment (EA), as well as final design

for the bridge’s replacement. The new bridge had to meet or exceed current design standards, accommodate bicycle and river traffic, fulfill local and regional economic needs, and be reliable for the next 100 years. In total, we studied 17 different alternatives, including rehabilitation of the existing bridge, reconstruction on the existing alignment and a new bridge on a new alignment. Early in the planning process, we discovered that residents and business owners feared that relocating the bridge to bypass the village would have severe economic impacts on the community. Further complicating the project were numerous other factors, including the presence of historic properties, archaeological sites, a National Wildlife Refuge, public park space, threatened and endangered species, wetlands, hazardous materials and floodplains, to name a few. With so many varying factors, we recognized how critical community input and stakeholder involvement would be from the beginning.

Using IDOT’s Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) approach, we actively engaged the community and other project stakeholders in a robust public outreach process, incorporating community and public meetings, newsletters and a website. Throughout the planning phase, an advisory committee of local representatives and stakeholders known as the Meredosia Bridge Advisory Committee (MBAC) provided direct input regarding the community’s views and concerns. Concurrently, we were coordinating with more than 10 different federal and state agencies and 14 Native American Tribes. Where such impacts and the potential for agency/community conflict exist, achieving consensus and obtaining agency approvals could have been challenging. We took a proactive approach through the CSS process to identify the needs and desires of the community early in the study, while also integrating early agency coordination. As a result, we overcame typical issues that might have led to a different solution than the ideal solution the community and IDOT desired.

Vinod Patel (left) and Douglas Hansen (right)

Finally, as part of the CSS process, EXP and IDOT worked with the Village to develop a downtown plan that would not only minimize impacts to the business district, but also maintain connectivity to and improve visibility of local businesses to traffic on the newly realigned IL-104. The preliminary engineering study resulted in the selection of a new 2,125-foot-long bridge located approximately 255 feet north of the existing bridge. A unique feature of the new bridge is a 590-foot- long tied-arch span over the navigational channel of the Illinois River. The new bridge would impact less acreage of wetlands and farmland; cost less to build and maintain; cause lesser or no adverse economic impacts; and importantly, was supported by the local community and municipality. Our team went on to provide final design engineering for the new bridge and it opened to a community audience in June 2018. As one of only a handful of IDOT’s tied-arch bridges, the new crossing has created a gateway for the region. Visible from a distance, its design is both innovative yet illustrative of EXP’s simple and direct approach to design. However, the magic of the IL-104 project not only lies in its engineering, but also in a process marked by collaboration and partnership. Through diligent cooperation, we successfully turned potentially diverging views into a convergent solution. The result is a new legacy for the region and a bridge that will be a striking monument for the next 100 years!

Through a strong partnership with IDOT, we were able to successfully mitigate impacts to a National Wildlife Refuge through an innovative land-swap deal that enabled US Fish & Wildlife to enhance the refuge in exchange for refuge land to build the new bridge at the desired location. Reconfiguration of Boyd Park, a public park, made it more usable for the surrounding community and the nearby schools.

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After 30 years working on far north projects, it could not have started without Ottawa’s willingness to partner with other business sectors and offices. This partnership includes the Northern Infrastructure Team working closely with EXP offices from Ottawa’s geotechnical, environmental and building science groups, which led to relationships with water and wastewater treatment experts and water resource experts in Fredericton, New Brunswick, solid waste expertise in Brampton, Ontario, legal surveying services in Northern Ontario, ecological specialists from Brampton, Ontario, and metallurgists from Quebec. The convergence of these specializations within EXP led to the opportunity to help the remote town of Resolute Bay with their new utilidor design and the upgrade of their water and sewer Upgrade project. When it came time to bid on the design and construction administration for the upgrades to the Resolute Bay water and sewer system, I identified the need to strengthen our team with specialist from outside the Ottawa infrastructure team. After doing this kind of work for decades, and building a strong relationship with far north communities, I determined it would be beneficial to combine specialties between the Ottawa and Fredericton offices. Since Ottawa specialized in northern municipal design, geotechnical, environmental, surveying and construction and Fredericton specialized in water and wastewater, including the required structural, mechanical, electrical and architectural services, this merger would enhance EXP’s likelihood of being awarded the project. However, it was not only the ability to demonstrate technical expertise but also to display proficiency in working in remote northern communities.

In the northernmost territory of Canada, stretching across most of the Canadian Arctic, is the Territory of Nunavut, part of what is commonly called the “True North.” For over 30 years, the Ottawa office has been involved in providing services to Nunavut communities including Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Resolute Bay, and smaller, isolated communities. These remote locations are known for their harsh weather conditions, limited resources, seasonal supplies and finite manpower. However, our foothold in this challenging working environment is our expertise in different business sectors, which allows us to enter such a unique market. As the current manager of the Ottawa group, I came on board after Steve and a few others spent 30 years developing strategies to better service our Northern clientele. The solution they discovered, which is still utilized extensively today was to converge our expertise from the Ottawa infrastructure department and combined disciplines from diverse offices. To tell this story best, it must be done by someone who weathered the harsh conditions. I pass the pen over to Steve. FEATURE 08 EXP’S SERVICES POINT TO THE “TRUE NORTH” GRAHAM LANCASTER , P.ENG. SENIOR MANAGER, EASTERN ONTARIO INFRASTRUCTURE | OTTAWA, ON STEVE BURDEN, P.ENG. FORMER PROJECT MANAGER, FAR NORTH GROUP | OTTAWA, ON

Steve Burden >

We established our expertise with our ability to deal effectively with the harsh weather conditions, including permafrost, which would prove to be an issue when dealing with water treatment projects. Every element needed to be tactically planned for the conditions we were operating in, and this helped us become experts in the “true North.” Our involvement in Resolute Bay’s new utilidor design began with the Ottawa infrastructure team undertaking an assessment of Hamlet’s entire water and sewer system in 2009. The Hamlet of Resolute Bay obtains its water from Char Lake, the water is then pumped through a 1.8-kilometer transmission main to a water treatment plant then distributed throughout the Hamlet in a “utilidor” system of piping. Wastewater is collected through the utilidor system and is disposed of in the ocean. During this time, there was no wastewater treatment system. This infrastructure was in place since the late 1970’s and needed substantial upgrading. We completed the replacement of the utilidor system and the replacement of the Char Lake pumping station and upgrade of the Signal Hill water treatment plant (Phase II) is ongoing. As the second most northern community in North America, the Hamlet of Resolute Bay experiences extended periods of daylight or darkness and extreme cold in the winter. Because of these harsh conditions, each Phase required tremendous amounts of project planning. I had to think of the limited construction window and the impact of materials being shipped or flown in, sometimes with one single sealift each year. Our team had to think of manpower and if we would have enough people to complete the job and the impact on the community and how to adopt a true northern presence. As the project manager on the Hamlet of Resolute Bay water and sewer upgrade project, I quickly realized that this project would serve as one of the pivotal examples of how successful the convergence was between the Ottawa infrastructure northern team and the specialties of other offices is. And now, as I near the end of my career, I can never really put the far north behind me because the convergence between the offices with continue to grow as we remain a leader far north engineering and construction.

I had to think of the limited construction window and the impact of materials being shipped or flown in, sometimes with one single sealift each year. Our team had to think of manpower and if we would have enough people to complete the job and the impact on the community and how to adopt a true northern presence.

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Every night, the Jacques Cartier bridge comes alive. When darkness falls, it illuminates and paints the Montreal sky the color of major events taking place in the city, changing hues like a chameleon. Opened in 1930, this iconic bridge has been undergoing important restoration work for the past 20 years.

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Every day and night, I have the opportunity to admire its beauty, but it’s the part of the bridge that most people don’t see, its underside, that I’m most familiar with, having supervised refection work to the structure for over six years now. As part of a $96M restoration program, our teams have been working on reinforcing the steel structure in the Montreal portion of the bridge, to maintain its integrity and expand its service life. Unfortunately, operations such as bolting and removing rivets causes significant noise disturbances, and because we are in a densely populated area, with houses, condominiums and businesses near the bridge, we owed it to our stakeholders to be sensitive to their concerns and to listen carefully to their interests. A Montrealer myself, I’ve gotten to know several people who live or own businesses near the bridge. In some cases, there are only a few steps separating other structures from the bridge. Determined to maintain good relations with the community, our client, Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), created an online citizen forum to foster and facilitate open dialog with residents and merchants impacted by work on the bridge. During those conversations, participants identified noise as being the main inconvenience created by the rehabilitation work. As the project manager, and as a member of the community, I wanted to be part of the solution. Working

closely with acoustics experts, our team conducted analyses to pinpoint the sources of noise and determine where it goes, so we could recommend mitigation measures. With our client fully on board, we didn’t lose any time implementing our recommended sound mitigation solutions, consisting of acoustic screens to dampen work noise, confining compressors in sheds made of plywood, wool and soundproof panels, building a noise abatement wall near a residence, and using low noise generators. Eliminating noise may sound simple, but it’s a huge challenge. The reinforcement operations generate a lot of noise. I had to combine traditional engineering and active listening to preserve the soundscape for everyone. I needed to adapt both the planning and the size of the work, so it can be carried out with minimum impact. In the end, the solution we designed significantly exceeds industry standards, which is fitting, because this project is far from standard. The Jacques Cartier bridge is a beautiful bridge by day, that becomes simply magnificent as it illuminates the night sky. Under the bridge, while far from being classified as a work of art, the sound barriers are nonetheless a source of pride for me, as they allow for our work to go unnoticed. And sometimes, going unnoticed is a beautiful thing, some may call it golden.

As the project manager, and as a member of the community, I wanted to be a part of the solution.

Éric Bellavance

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expresso 15 | fall 2018




When I learned that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), an internationally recognizable symbol of Canada, had selected us to design their new regional detachment in New Brunswick, I was equal parts excited and intimidated. Not because I had reservations about working with federal and provincial law enforcement, but because I knew how complicated it could be. It was my job to coordinate our integrated, multidisciplinary design services, including a survey of the existing property, geotechnical investigation, schematic design, design development, construction documents, tendering services, construction contract administration, and warranty reviews for the successful delivery of this project. In all, we were a team of over 50 professionals across four maritime offices. The new regional facility replaced three aging facilities previously located in Saint-Léonard, Rivière-Verte and Grand Falls and combined them into one state-of-the-art facility strategically positioned at the juncture of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 17. It now houses 55 full- time employees, including officers and support staff. Prominently located, overlooking the great Saint John River Valley, it offers police services to an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometers in northwestern New Brunswick. But to get there, I had to work closely with the RCMP to understand everything they needed, including controlling natural light throughout the facility, ensuring it could reach the core of the facility and adequately shade more

exposed sections. Not only would our design make for a comfortable work environment, but also address the practical concerns of efficient heat distribution. In the process, I got to know the RCMP’s project manager quite well. He was hands-on, participating in biweekly design meetings through all phases of design, allowing for effective collaboration, quick decision-making, and true integrated design. On the inside, what makes this workplace unique is the enhanced security requirements, fueling some original thinking and creativity in the routing of building services to maintain the integrity of the secure areas. To do it, we came up with some innovative positioning of structural elements, ventilation ductwork, sprinkler lines, power, and data/communications services to achieve functional requirements while avoiding these critical areas.

On hand to accept the ACEC-NB Showcase Award (from left): Jean-Philippe Foisy, Vice President – Buildings + Industry, Atlantic Canada, Danny Gilbey, Practice Manager – Buildings + Industry, Fredericton, Tony Simpson – RCMP, Laura Clowater-Peters – RCMP, Boris Allard, Manager – Water + Wastewater Services

On the outside, as an iconic institution, the elevated, upright and forward-looking entrance was designed to reflect the vision of the RCMP to be a progressive, proactive and innovative organization. Perfect for its perch on a strategic location that offers quick access to two major transportation arteries, providing optimal response times to the communities it serves. Overall, the location enhances regional operational efficiency for the RCMP, making communities safer. The central location of the development alleviates long commutes back and forth to the facility, thus

enhancing the quality of life for workers and the public, reducing greenhouse gases emissions in the process. I’m very proud of my involvement with such a complicated project that brought so many teams together, for the benefit of our client, and the community at large.

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With a mission to understand , innovate , partner and deliver , EXP provides engineering, architecture, design and consulting services to the world’s built and natural environments. Our heritage dates back to 1906, when the earliest of EXP’s predecessor companies started its engineering infrastructure practice.

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