A welcome addition to a blossoming downtown, transforming the commuter experience
Ross Street Underpass and Community Impact
The at-grade CP Railway crossing at Marine Park Drive was identified as a priority for improvement. The crossing experienced congestion when trains passed, creating delays and affecting emergency response times.
Binnie’s involvement with the Ross Street Underpass Project began in 2013. The $18 million project created a safe, un-interrupted downtown-waterfront connection under the CP Rail mainline. Building a road below the rail had a cascading effect that lowered several streets and utilities. In order to drain the underpass, a pump station was built. Additionally, a 1.8 m storm lime was installed under the tracks.
The grade separated Ross Street crossing of CP Rail’s busy 30 train a day mainline not only improved the safety of all users, it also improved the functionality and efficiency of CP’s rail operations in Salmon Arm and generally throughout their Shuswap corridor. Today, City of Salmon Arm residents, businesses, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians can pass safely through the Ross Street Underpass without train delays. Travel and emergency response times have also been significantly improved.
As Prime Consultant, Binnie worked with a team of sub-consultants, including WSP, Hatch, Falcon, Core6, and CWMM, to design and support the construction of the underpass. Binnie provided the contract administration (MMCD Contract), quality assurance, project management, and acted as the Engineer-of-Record for roads, surface improvements, pump station, and utilities.
The Contractor expressed a desire to pursue an alternative design for the bridge approach retaining walls, opting for sheet piles instead of the conventional mechanical stabilized earth (MSE) approach. To assist with the decision making process, Binnie facilitated an extensive alternative design review process with the City, Owner’s Engineer, and Contractor, which resulted in the Contractor proceeding with pile retaining walls. As part of this process, the Contractor’s engineer assumed the role of the Engineer-of-Record for the shoring. To formalize the change in design, Binnie prepared a change order that documented the revised specifications. This decision demonstrated a collaborative approach between the contractor, City of Salmon Arm, and Binnie, as we embraced the opportunity to explore an innovative solution in the realm of shoring wall construction.
A Unique Solution
To ensure CP Rail operations continued safely during construction of the underpass, Binnie, in partnership with Hatch and Cansel, devised a state-of-the-art Realtime Automated Monitoring System to continuously monitor track, wall, and structure movement. Robotic survey equipment measured the position of 140 prisms attached to the track and structure. This data was automatically analyzed with multiple CP Rail tolerances. If alert levels were triggered, automated warning reports were delivered to key personnel, which allowed reports to be prepared rapidly without an on-site survey crew. This was a fast, safe, and low-impact solution that provided certainty to CP Rail. This track monitoring assisted in securing CP Rail’s approval, and the added assurance contributed to a productive relationship with CP Rail.