Innovative project delivery
WSP was part of an engineering joint venture within the Rideau Transit Group design-build consortium. This unique public-private partnership project model means that the private sector is largely responsible for the delivery and the performance of the project from design to long-term maintenance. This model delivers value for money by ensuring a fixed price contract, schedule and cost certainty, allocates risk to the appropriate partners and encourages innovation.
The project involved converting a portion of the existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system into a Light Rapid Transit system and adding new track, all the while keeping the BRT system fully operational during construction. Work included the construction of a new station, upgrading existing stations along the route, and a new maintenance and storage facility.
Engineering for a unique project
One of the major engineering challenges was the tunneling of a 2.5-km-long tunnel through the downtown core. Proximity to the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the specific soil conditions of the downtown core, and the properties of the materials (geotechnical properties) that were excavated were all evaluated. With over 153,000 cubic metres of rock removed from tunnel, some was used for some concrete production to enhance project sustainability.
The Confederation Line overhead electrical lines have been designed to take into account Ottawa’s unique weather conditions, with foundations and poles that have been specially designed to resist ice build-up and extreme wind.