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Friday, Nov 06, 2020

Calgary West Ring Road improvements will provide free-flow travel in and around the City of Calgary

Calgary West Ring Road

The West Calgary Ring Road, located between Highway 8 and the Trans-Canada Highway, is the final phase of Calgary’s Ring Road. The project is being completed in two parts: the North segment, DB-1, and South segment, DB-2, both delivered as design-build projects. 

The Calgary Ring Road will create more than 100 kilometres of free-flow travel around the city; improve access to hospitals, schools, workplaces, and recreation; and reduce traffic congestion. The project includes 20 bridges in DB-1 and eight in DB-2, as well as many retaining walls and reinforced engineered slopes-significant structural infrastructure to design and build in a three-year construction window. 

Calgary West Ring Road

Associated Engineering is the prime consultant on the Owner’s Engineer team and developed the technical requirements for both design-build contracts. Our work included updating traffic modelling/simulation, bridge planning, road geometrics, stormwater management, utility relocation, noise modelling, environmental investigations, and laying the groundwork for permitting and public consultation. 

We also produced the documents that became the design-build agreements, and facilitated the process during the pursuit phases, including answering requests for information (RFI), and performing submission compliance checks. Since awarding the construction contract, Associated has been performing construction contract and site administration services for Alberta Transportation.

Calgary West Ring Road

Project Manager, Jim Zagas, tells us, “As a project team, we faced the challenge of building significant infrastructure in a constrained urban environment. It was important to begin land acquisition early in the project development. We also navigated significant construction impacts in adjacent communities that have grown accustomed to an unoccupied transportation and utility corridor behind their homes.” 

“We planned and implemented a robust public communications strategy leveraging our team members’ experience working on other ring road projects. These efforts provided regular updates to help address concerns.”

Calgary West Ring Road

With the tight timeline, the project team had to fast track development of technical requirements and contract agreements. Senior personnel worked concurrently on design concepts and preparation of documentation, leveraging their expertise and experience working with Alberta Transportation to develop draft concepts and documentation that were “right the first time”. The optimized design concepts included using basket weaves, retaining walls, and vertical profiles. Identifying, managing, and mitigating risks was a success factor. 

Design of stormwater management infrastructure accommodates a 1:100-year event

Effective document management was also critical in managing this large design-build project. In one year, the team handled 725 submittal reviews and 201 RFI responses for the DB-1 segment, and 260 RFI responses and 1,200 tender review comments in six months for the DB-2 segment. Jim shares, “Implementing a third-party document management system (Procore) helped us to realize real time-savings and we have transitioned this system into construction.”

The West Calgary Ring Road will improve the safety of the travelling public, adhere to environmental regulations, and provide effective and efficient highway infrastructure.
Our key personnel on this project include Jim Zagas, Dave Nagy, Dwight Carter, Leo Pinto, Karl Liu, Larry Mouland, Richard Simpson, Corinne Arkell, Tom Greaves, Tara Alexander, Lisbeth Medina, Simon Cook, and Jon Wiens.