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SkyTrain Crossing of South Point Drive


Burnaby, British Columbia






Part of the Initial System of the Vancouver Advanced Light Rail Transit project, subsequently the Vancouver SkyTrain, required a grade-separated crossing of a planned extension of 10th Avenue in South Burnaby. Geometric constraints required the four-lane roadway to pass underneath the three guideway tracks. A major constraint to the crossing design was the presence of the BC Southern Railway immediately to the south of the guideway tracks.

Faced with the costly prospect of building a complete bridge to accommodate the future roadway without affecting the adjacent railway track, the Initial System supplier, Metro Canada Limited, asked Associated Engineering, to provide an effective solution. The result was a unique structure that permitted uninterrupted use of the guideways during future roadway construction, did not impact the BC Southern Railway, and was substantially less expensive than a new bridge. The solution was piled slab construction in which shallow bank seat abutments and drilled piles were installed beneath the guideway alignments, and a 50 metre long, 600 millimetre deep concrete slab was cast on grade. Track slabs were cast on top of the slab to carry the ALRT tracks.

A decade later, the City of Burnaby retained Associated Engineering to design the new roadway, now named South Point Drive. The design called for excavation beneath the concrete slab and cladding of the piles to form new bridge piers. Now disused, the BC Southern Railway property was purchased and a pedestrian bridge built alongside to carry the BC Parkway recreational trail. SkyTrain operations were unaffected throughout this second phase of construction.

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