By 2000, the transportation infrastructure connecting Metro Vancouver was in dire need of upgrades. Part of this included the traffic on Highway 1, which had increased to the point where the Port Mann bridge was congested, in both directions for about 13 hours every weekday.
The Province of British Columbia established The Gateway Program in 2003 with the goal of addressing overall mobility, congestion and connectivity of goods and people throughout the region.
The Port Mann/Highway 1 (PMH1) Improvement Project is one component of this Gateway Program, the largest infrastructure transportation project in the history of British Columbia, which was valued at $3.3 billion. In February 2009, the Province announced the news to begin the new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 improvements which included:
- widening the highway
- replacing the Port Mann Bridge
- upgrading interchanges (18 locations)
- designing new HOV lanes and new transit facilities
- transit/commercial vehicle priority access to highway on-ramps.
- improving access and safety on Highway 1
- more transit and cycling options for commuters
- better separation of trains and commercial haulers from regular traffic
These project improvements spanned 37 kilometres – from the McGill Street Interchange in Vancouver to 216th Street in Langley.
Binnie worked with Project Owner TI Corp as part of their senior management team, and was responsible for managing and delivering the Design-Builder’s scope of work which included:
- liaising and negotiating directly with the Design-Builder’s (DB’s) senior management team on contractual/ scope-related matters
- supervising the Owner’s Section Managers on the delivery of the project scope
- providing technical direction to the Owner’s Engineer (OE) Team.
This included a major focus on engineering design reviews of the DB submissions and involved coordinating multi-disciplinary inputs from highways, traffic, structural, geotechnical, utilities, and ITS/electrical. Binnie also oversaw traffic management during construction and worked closely with TI Corp’s communications staff.
In addition to being part of the Owner’s senior management team, Binnie also provided project management and design services as part of the OE team. Responsibilities involved:
- coordination of the submission and review process
- review of detour and traffic control plans
- preparation of Property Acquisition Drawings
- review of geometric design, signage, and pavement markings
- design of intersections, interchanges, and road sections not covered by the Reference Concept Design
- VISSIM micro-simulation traffic modelling
- design of multi-purpose urban paths
- detailed field survey
- preparation of CAiCE models and survey base plans for ancillary projects
By 2015, the PMH1 project was complete and resulted in reduced congestion and travel time; improved safety and accessibility; reliable transit service; expanded networks for HOV, cyclists and pedestrians; and accommodated potential future rapid transit. The new bridge is 2,020 metres long, making it the largest and longest main river-crossing span in Western Canada; and the second longest in North America.