Traffic congestion and access to and from the City of Airdrie has been a major problem for years, and a significant issue raised by residents in the recent civic elections. Highway 2 serves as the primary corridor for commuters to and from Calgary, located 35 kilometres south of Airdrie. During the morning and evening rush hour commutes between Airdie and Calgary, the two existing interchanges connecting to Highway 2 experience high traffic volumes. With increasing population, the city decided to move forward with the design of a new interchange with Highway 2 to ease the congestion, with the added benefit of fostering greater economic development.
The city retained Associated Engineering as the prime consultant to complete preliminary engineering, detailed design, and tendering for the interchange. The work includes bridges over CP Rail, Main Street, and Highway 2, roadworks, realignment of Nose Creek, and stormwater management. The project also includes coordinating with Alberta Transportation, adjacent landowners, and stakeholders, and preparing all permit applications for the City of Airdrie.
The two greatest challenges for the project were the environmental approvals and stormwater management. Project Manager, Jim Zagas, tells us, “For the environmental approvals, our project team adopted a proactive approach, involving the regulators during the initial stages of the design process. Their informal comments were incorporated into the design, and assisted in completing the permit application.”
The guidelines on stormwater release into Nose Creek required design of a large stormwater management pond. Acquiring land in an urban environment is a challenge, therefore the project team took advantage of the local topography to design interim/temporary stormwater storage areas upstream.
In addition, the team is working closely with the city and developers to share existing stormwater ponds. These solutions contributed to reducing the size of the stormwater management facility required for the interchange.
The design is expected to be completed in December 2018. Our key personnel involved on this project include Jim Zagas, David Nagy, Jonathan Wiens, Larry Mouland, Helen Du, Pierre Burton, Lisbeth Escobar, and Matt Freeman.