How do you rebuild one of the most complex transportation interchanges in the country while still allowing daily commuter and rail traffic to use the existing infrastructure? That was the challenge Transports Quebec posed to parties interested in the redevelopment of Montreal’s Turcot Interchange.
The interchange connects three major highways (Autoroutes 15, 20 and 720), provides access to the Champlain Bridge, and is the key transportation connector between Montreal-Trudeau International Airport and the city’s downtown core.
The project was awarded to KPH Turcot, a team consisting on Kiewit, Parsons, and CRH Canada, with WSP taking on the role of lead designer. The significant construction works got underway in 2015, with the project reaching substantial completion in 2021.
Overcoming Challenges with Innovation
The biggest challenge to designing the new interchange was figuring out how to build new transportation corridors without significantly disrupting vehicular traffic. Also factoring into the equation was the presence on the CN Rail line that passes through the interchange at the ground level.
The solution was to introduce a state-of-the-art 3D visualization design tool, one that could show the entire job site and all the transportation elements therein. With the design tool, the team was able to work towards a design plan that would allow construction to take place without interfering with the active CN Rail line. The tool also allowed the team to consider public services and how construction work might impact them, as it enabled the integration of utility networks into the 3D visualization of the project. And when unforeseen circumstances arose, it let the team go back to the digital design to work at a solution and see how it might impact the overall project.
The use of 3D technology was also incorporated into the management of contaminated soils on the job site. The process involved documenting over 35,000 data blocks representing different layers of soil on the project site and then incorporating GIS to provide the construction team with accurate information on where to excavate. Soil was dug out and then removed or reused, all while adhering to the province’s strict legal and environmental standards for rehabilitating contaminated sites.
In addition to the work done to reuse excavated soils whenever and wherever possible, the design included elements that would improve the project's environmental impact. Noise barriers, landscaped berms, and vegetation were incorporated to reduce traffic noise, improve stormwater management, and reduce the amount of visual traffic seen by neighbouring communities.
Thanks to the work of the overall KPH Turcot team, the City of Montreal will have an interchange that is better designed and constructed to meet the community’s transportation needs for decades to come.
Get involved with innovative projects like the Turcot Interchange by becoming a member of the WSP team. Visit our careers page to learn more about the current opportunities that are available.