September 5, 2012
ONTARIO MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION
FEATURE | Roadbuilding
Highway 11 four-laning hits completion milestone
The “gateway” to northern Ontario will soon be a four-lane thoroughfare all the way to North Bay. After more than a decade of construction, the widening of Highway 11 from two to four lanes from Huntsville to Powassan just south of North Bay wraps up this summer.
Underway since 2000, the four-laning completes earlier expansions of the highway both south of Huntsville and from Powassan north to North Bay.
While not the largest highway construction in the province — that distinction goes to the four-laning of Highway 69 — the province has invested more than $730 million in the expansion as part of a strategy to improve safety and promote economic development and job creation.
The range of work included the construction of new bypasses around four communities, six new interchanges and 54 bridges, the longest of which is the 269-metre-long, five-span steel girder Magnetawan River installation in the Burk’s Falls area.
Widening the highway required the excavation of approximately 1.7 million cubic metres of rock and 10.5 million cubic metres of earth, says Raymond Hong, senior project manager with the Ministry of Transportation’s North Bay office which coordinated the massive undertaking.
The excavated material that was suitable was recycled and used to construct embankments and as aggregates for granular material and paving, he says.
Due to the magnitude, complexity and distances involved, a number of different planning, design, and construction strategies were used.
Design and construction progressed simultaneously southerly from Powassan and northerly from Huntsville and “was divided into numerous projects based on geographic features and reasonable construction lengths.”
More than 20 different contracts were tendered, ranging the gamut from tree removal, to embankment improvements, to bridge construction, says Hong.
When asked if contractors were chosen on the basis of having their headquarters in the area, he explained that contractors wishing to bid on MTO contracts are pre-qualified on their demonstrated experience and financial ability to carry out large-scale projects.
“Although many of the general contractors were from southern Ontario, a lot of the work was sub-contracted to local contractors.”
The 12-year undertaking was marked by more than a few challenges such as the timing of the design and construction, property acquisition, relocating utilities in advance of construction, and obtaining the various environmental approvals, he says.
Touching on the environmental aspect, Hong says the use of long-span bridges — such as the Magnetawan — helped minimize the impact to the rivers, although most of the bridges were less than 100 metres. Other measures included the creation of new landscaping to reinstate or replace any impacted areas.
Long-term planning for the expansion also included preparation by residents and local officials in Trout Creek, South River, Sundridge, and Emsdale — the four communities that are now bypassed.
“It was not possible to construct a four-lane freeway through these communities without significant impacts to properties and businesses. The communities have been planning for several years in advance of the opening of the new highway to mark and draw travellers into their communities.”
In addition, Tourism Ontario signage is available to local businesses to attract travellers, he says.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 541 projects with a total value of $2,992,674,310 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Thursday.
$290,000,000 North York ON Prebid
$105,000,000 Metro Toronto Reg ON Prebid
$75,000,000 Ottawa ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- Prompt payment bill headed to committee
- Final Phase
- A return to core values a must for banks: Carney
- OHMPA on the road with informative seminars
- Local 675 strike ends after new agreement ratified
- NDP says it will support Liberal budget, averting spring election
- Measure of U.S. economy’s future health rises 0.6 per cent in April after March dip
- Terratec awarded Brighton, Ont. Lagoon Clean-Out Project contract
- Fundraising campaign to reach target for new Shriners Hospital for Children
- George Brown College building named after Tridel CEO
- Construction Site Arson
- VIDEO: Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 27th, 2013
- Historic church renovation reaches new heights
- Hiring of foreign workers for hospital project outrages union
- Acetylene torch explosion causes significant damage
- Festival of Architecture hits Halifax
- Winnipeg Southwest Transitway wins award
- Vendor performance is key measurement
- NDP leader spoke to police about corruption
- Big contract down under for ATCO Structures
- RFQ issued for Kamloops hospital project
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)