Canada honours global input to its national fabric 24 Oct 2019

TunnelTalk reporting

So many nations through history have relied on the skills and labour of immigrants and internationals to build their infrastructure and Canada this year has recognised both in its 2019 Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) Awards for excellence in the national underground construction industry.

Lifetime Achievement: Recognition of an outstanding career brought to an end too soon

Presented during the Awards gala dinner at a symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, engineers from around the world and their innovations, as well as from Canada’s own wealth of engineering experience and expertise, were recognised for their contributions to building the nation.

In a deserving tribute, TAC honoured Enrique Fernández González of Spain with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Awarded posthumously, following the untimely death of Fernández as the result of a fatal traffic accident while riding in a cycle road race in his home town near Madrid, the association of Fernández and of Dragados and its engineering division gGravity, for whom Fernández spent his career lifetime, with Canada dates back to the start of the Eglinton LRT project in Toronto on which Dragados was involved on contracts for both TBM running tunnels and station construction. Fernández is recognised for other major underground infrastructure projects in Canada as well as in many countries of the world, including Australia, the UK, USA, through Asia and Europe and in Spain.

Innovation of the Year: Ingenious method of structural support

The 2019 Innovation Initiative of the Year Award was presented to the design of the Lyon and Parliament underground stations of the Confederation Line of the Ottawa Metro designed by Dr Sauer & Partners in collaboration with Gravity and built by the Dragados/SNC-Lavalin/OLRT/EllisDon JV.

The solution for sustaining the excavation integrity of the large caverns of the mined underground stations under shallow cover below the city streets, and between the basements of skyscrapers either side, was to apply permanent tensioned tie rods across the span of the excavation to take the load and transfer it away from the walls of the basements. The tensioned tie rods are encased permanently in the concrete decks of the mezzanine floor of the stations.

The Confederation Line in Ottawa is now in operation and the design and successful implementation of the tensioned tie rod support system made viable the mined alternative to the original open-cut station box option.

Project of the Year: A no-dig alternative to an open cut operation
Photo of the Year: Stunning image of station excavation for the Toronto Eglinton Crosstown LRT project

A trenchless no-dig microtunnelling alternative to an original open cut sewer project design is the recipient of 2019 TAC Project of the Year. The alternative offered by contractor Ward and Burke Microtunnelling for a 770m of the South Surrey Interceptor project for Metro Vancouver was completed using a Herrenknecht microtunnelling TBM and jacking pipes designed and manufactured by Langley Concrete Group.

For Photo of the Year, it was back to metro station excavation and presentation of the award to the Dr Sauer & Partners and CTS Joint Venture for an impressive image of station excavation works for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project in Toronto.

TAC is preparing to publish a book to celebrate the history of tunnelling in Canada for its 40th anniversary in 2020

Congratulations to all the worthy recipients of the Canadian Tunnelling Association TAC Awards for 2019.

To continue the theme of recognising international collaboration, TAC is in the process of preparing to publish a book in 2020 to celebrate the history of tunnelling in Canada and its 40th year of representing the industry for Canada. The book will reference Canada’s rich history of all the major types of underground civil engineering infrastructure, from hydro schemes to mountain and urban rail underpasses and will acknowledge the efforts of immigrants to Canada in building the national fabric of the country.

The 2020 TAC Awards will be presented as part of the TAC2020 Vision Underground conference to be held in Toronto from 28 to 30 September. Save the date and join Canadian colleagues and members of TAC to celebrate the major achievements of the nation and its contributions on the international stage.


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