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Innovative solutions cut millions in project costs and speed completion

Client: Parsons Overseas Company of Canada
Project: Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Services Provided for this Project
  • drainage & bridge design check
  • innovative hydraulic designs
  • conceptual bridge & wall design
  • detailed retaining wall designs
  • independent design check of all bridge elements
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Joanne McCall, Division VP
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The Trans-Canada Highway reaches its highest altitude at the Kicking Horse Pass, the point that marks the Continental Divide. When originally constructed in 1956, the highway followed the Canadian Pacific Railway route through this pass alongside the Kicking Horse River, which is a narrow, winding two-lane highway with steep rock faces on one side and a drop-off to the river on the other.

The British Columbia government was anxious to see a major upgrade to this critical gateway to the province. Phase 2 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project called for a new high-level bridge with a 405 meter span at a height of 95 meters above the river and upgrade to a modern four-lane standard with a design speed of 100 km/hour. This would create a safer alignment, reducing the dangerous curves and steep grades of the original roadway.

Delcan was engaged through a partnership with Parsons Overseas Company of Canada, a member of the Trans-Park Highway Group, to provide the overall drainage and bridge design check. Delcan’s involvement ultimately included innovative hydraulic designs, conceptual bridge and wall design, detailed retaining wall designs and independent design of all bridge elements. The innovative engineering solutions brought to this project helped save millions of dollars and shorten the originally proposed timeline by nearly two years.

The spectacular new Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge is the first curved incrementally-launched bridge in North America. The successful completion of this major project adds significant value to the Trans-Canada Highway, eliminating several kilometers of notoriously dangerous road and bridgework and providing a safe, competitive corridor for the movement of goods to ports, as well as the enjoyment of some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada.

Public-Private Partnership: The Kicking Horse Canyon Project is a prime example of public-private partnership (P3). Through a competitive process conducted by Partnerships BC, TransPark Highway Group was selected to deliver the improvements to Phase 2 of the Kicking Horse Project. Delcan formed part of the winning team of engineers who implemented the design and construction of the new highway and high-level bridge. Despite significant construction, maintenance and operational challenges, the new Park Bridge and associated highway approaches were opened to traffic 21 months ahead of schedule.

Numerous Awards: Delcan and the Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge project received numerous awards for engineering excellence and innovation, as well as for successful completion almost two years ahead of schedule.

  • Association of Canadian Engineering Companies, Award of Excellence for Transportation
  • Consulting Engineers of British Columbia, Award of Merit for Transportation
  • Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (Quebec), Award of Excellence
  • Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), Engineering Award of Excellence
  • Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence, Innovation category
  • Transportation Association of Canada, Environmental Achievement Award

“The opening of this new bridge marks another milestone in the development of British Columbia’s key trade corridors,” said The Honorable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “In addition to improving safety and easing traffic congestion, the resulting economic benefits and environmental improvements will have a positive impact on local communities and on the entire region.”

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Tags: bridgehigh-level bridgeinfrastructurebritish columbiaindependent designdrainageretaining wallengineering serviceskicking horse canyonpublic-private partnership

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