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2018 Ministerís Awards for Transportation Innovation

The annual Ministerís Awards for Transportation Innovation recognize the innovative people and organizations in Alberta who plan, design, construct, operate or maintain a roadway, transit service or related initiative. This is an opportunity to celebrate transportation innovations, large or small, that pave the way towards a better, more efficient, sustainable and safer transportation system in Alberta.

Recipients of the 2018 Ministerís Awards for Transportation Innovation represent the diversity and expertise found in all areas of the province. Award winners were selected by an awards evaluation committee consisting of representatives from Alberta Transportation, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.

Award of Excellence for Design Innovation

12th Street South East Bridge Replacement
Ė CH2M (now Jacobs) The City of Calgary, Parsons, Westpro, Rapid Span, Lafarge, RJ Watson Inc., GOAL Engineering

The City of Calgary had three main objectives when designing the new 12th Street South East Bridge over the Bow River.

  1. Minimizing the environmental risk of placing large volumes of wet concrete over the river.
  2. Reducing the structureís footprint in the river.
  3. Increasing the bridgeís flood resilience.

The project teamís solution was to use full-depth, full-width, precast concrete deck panels connected through reinforced Ultra High-Performance Concrete joints. This approach drastically reduced the volume of wet concrete placed over the river.

The teamís design included three-span haunched steel girders with vertical curvature to allow the girder depths at the abutments to be kept shallow enough to meet the existing approach grade. The girder depths were increased at the piers to enhance structural capacity. The haunched shape increased the main river channel opening and the bridgeís overall hydraulic capacity. With this design, only a small portion of girders would be submerged during a one in one hundred year flood event.

This is the first solution of its kind designed for a multi-span, continuous vehicular bridge in Alberta.

Award of Excellence for Construction Innovation

Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue South Ė Diverging Diamond Interchange
Ė The City of Calgary, ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd., Graham Infrastructure LP

The City of Calgary had three main objectives when designing the new 12th Street South East Bridge over the Bow River.

2017 marked the opening of Canadaís first diverging diamond interchange at Macleod Trail and 162nd avenue in south Calgary.Previously planned as a partial cloverleaf, new development in the area affected traffic patterns and travel mode demands. The new solution? A diverging diamond interchange, which would:

  • Reduce travel times
  • Accommodate all modes of travel
  • Improve safety and increase capacity for high-volume left turns
  • And no additional land would be needed.

Construction started within months of the design phase with a unique "Early Contractor Engagement" procurement and delivery model. This resulted in project cost savings, schedule improvements and enhanced access management during construction.

The diverging diamond interchange opened one month ahead of schedule, and on budget.

Award of Excellence for Environmental Innovation

First Long Range Battery Powered Electric Buses
Ė City of St. Albert, BYD Canada

In 2017, the City of Saint Albert procured Canada's first municipally-owned, long-range electric buses. The three state-of-the-art, battery-powered buses are now deployed on both local and commuter routes.

The highly efficient, 35-foot electric buses produce zero emissions and are capable of operating for extended periods, making multiple trips without recharging.

The City of St. Albert plans to purchase four more electric buses. That means nearly 12 per cent of its transit fleet will be zero emission electric vehicles ó higher than any other transit fleet in Canada.

Award of Excellence for Safety Innovation

Wind Advisory System on Highway 22
Ė Alberta Transportation, DTN LLC, VER-MAC, EPCOR, Amec Foster Wheeler, IBI Group, Volker Stevin Highways Ltd., Campbell Scientific

High crosswinds along Highway 22 near Lundbreck, Alberta, regularly exceed 80 kilometres an hour. Such powerful winds can cause dangerous driving conditions, making trucks more susceptible to rollovers. Alberta Transportation and local stakeholders collaborated to develop a Wind Advisory System that alerts drivers to hazardous winds on the road ahead.

A first in Alberta, the Wind Advisory System uses technology already in place along Highway 22 to detect excessively high crosswinds. The system then uses strategically located message boards to provide real-time, on-site high wind warnings to help heavy vehicle drivers make informed decisions along their route.

The fully automated system has improved safety significantly. Rollover collisions along this route have been reduced by 90 per cent since the system launched.

Award of Excellence for Operational Innovation

511 Alberta Citizen Reporter and Alberta Snowplows
Ė Alberta Transportation, ISM Canada, Telenium Inc., Alberta Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association (ARHCA)

In 2016, 511 Alberta launched two new platforms that have taken their road reporting service to the next level.

The Citizen Reporter app enlists trained Albertans to report on road conditions. So far, nearly 1500 active users have submitted more than sixty-five hundred highway condition reports. The results? Improved data quality and coverage, and reduced costs.

The Alberta Snowplows website is a joint effort between 511 Alberta and the provinceís highway maintenance contractors. The website improves safety for travellers and snowplow operators by displaying the real-time locations of 600 snowplows.

The Citizen Reporter app and the Alberta Snowplows website are both ďfirstsĒ for Alberta.

Award of Excellence for Transit/Accessible Transportation Innovation

Downtown Edmontonís Barrier Free Pedestrian Link
Ė Graham Infrastructure LP, City of Edmonton, DIALOG

In 2017, the City of Edmonton opened a barrier-free connection between downtown and the scenic River Valley. The Mechanized River Valley Access project has made Edmontonís crown jewel more accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

The project involved constructing Western Canadaís first funicular railway, a broad urban staircase, and a pedestrian bridge across a major roadway into downtown. The funicular offers plenty of space for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and bikes and an elevator makes the final twenty-meter descent to the river valley trail system effortless.

Mechanized access has created a new destination in Edmonton: an innovative, barrier-free system that allows people to enjoy both the vibrant downtown and the cityís beautiful river valley.

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