Calgary plans $800M in work to improve the city

Key Takeaways:

  • Major projects include construction of the Sunnyside Flood Barrier and rehabilitation of the 4 Avenue Flyover and Mission Bridge.
  • Other projects include rehabbing nearly 400 lane kilometres of roadway, spending $89.6 million to expand the Calgary Composting Facility and adding more ice rinks at Glenmore Twin Arena.
  • Officials say the improvements will make it easier to live, play, and get around in the city.

The Whole Story:

The City of Calgary plans to embark on more than $800 million in construction work this year for parks, streets, public transit and recreation and operational facilities. 

“City infrastructure supports everyone who calls Calgary home, as well as those visiting from around the world,” said Michael Thompson, general manager of infrastructure services. “The improvements we have planned for this year will make it easier to live, play, and get around in the city. It will help keep our city healthy, clean and safe; and it will make our communities more vibrant and welcoming.”

In addition to several major projects happening downtown this year, including construction of the Sunnyside Flood Barrier and rehabilitation of the 4 Avenue Flyover and Mission Bridge, here are some of the other upcoming project highlights:

Recreation

  • New outdoor sports fields at Rocky Ridge Athletic Park: Plans are to build a new athletic park in Rocky Ridge. The park includes two new outdoor multi-use artificial turf fields, washrooms, parking and field lighting. It’s a $24 million investment that will be underway starting in fall of 2024.
  • Upgrades to Calgary Soccer Centre: Crews will install a new FIFA-size artificial turf field under an air-conditioned dome. It will be accompanied by a new attached building with change rooms and washrooms. It’s a $28 million investment, which will be underway between spring 2024 to spring 2025.
  • More ice rinks at Glenmore Twin Arena: The city is increasing the availability of ice rinks at Glenmore Athletic Park with a new twin-ice arena that will replace the aging Stu Peppard Arena. It’s an $85.6 million investment, which will be underway from fall 2024 to summer 2027. Stu Peppard Arena will remain open until the Glenmore Twin Arena is complete.
  • Upgrades to Sandy Beach Park: Crews will install a new paved entrance, adding parking spaces, and upgrading water utility connections, including drought-resistant landscaping and pathway connections. It’s estimated to cost about $6 million and is expected to be under construction from summer 2024 to late 2025. 

Transportation/roads

  • Upgrading Calgary’s streets: The city will make more than 100 upgrades to existing streets across the city through the Various Street Improvements (VSI) Program, including intersections, traffic calming, sidewalks, pathways, and transit facilities. It’s an approximately $10 million investment for safety and operations improvements, scheduled to be underway during the 2024 construction season.
  • New pavement: Nearly 400 lane kilometres of roadway will be rehabbed this season. Thanks to an increased investment from Council in 2023, the program will invest approximately $50 million to rehabilitate 20-30% more pavement than last year.
  • Improving public spaces in Ramsay and Inglewood: The city is finalizing designs for new and upgraded connections around the future Ramsay-Inglewood Green Line Station. Construction is expected to start later the summer. In advance of this work, officials preparing to replace and extend the water mains along 12 Street S.E. between 8 Avenue S.E. and 11 Avenue S.E. to accommodate future growth.
  • Preparing for the Green Line with the North Central Bus Rapid Transit line: While planning continues to bring future Green Line LRT service to the north, the North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line is an immediate step to provide Calgarians in the north fast, frequent and reliable transit options. Construction began in April in communities along Centre Street from Country Hills Boulevard North to 28 Ave N.W. It’s anticipated to be complete in summer 2025.

Community improvements

  • Improving Calgary’s Main Streets: Work continues this year to upgrade Bridgeland and Marda Loop Main Streets. The improvements to the sidewalk, streetscape improvements and infrastructure will support future development, businesses and increasing populations. Work is expected to be complete in both Marda Loop and Bridgeland in 2025.
  • Protecting and improving the Riley area: The city is undertaking several projects in the communities of Hillhurst, Hounsfield Heights-Briar Hill, Sunnyside and West Hillhurst that improve public spaces, increase mobility and accessibility, and protect the area from river flooding.

Environment/safety

  • Expanding the Calgary Composting Facility: The city is investing $89.6 million so the Calgary Composting Facility can support the record-amount of organics that Calgarians are diverting from landfills through the green cart program. This expansion helps Calgary make progress on our path to net-zero and produces nutrient-rich compost for use in our gardens and parks. Composting also creates renewable natural gas, which will be sold to support the green cart program. Construction for the expansion started in April 2024 and is expected to be completed in late 2025. For more information on composting, visit our web page.
  • A new fire station in the northeast: Construction begins this year in Cornerstone on a new integrated Fire Station and Household Hazardous Waste drop-off location. The new two-bay Cornerstone Fire Station will replace the temporary one-bay Skyview Fire Station. Construction on the $16 million facility began in February 2024 and is expected to be completed by spring 2025. In the future, The City also plans to develop future affordable housing at the location.
  • Supporting growth and development in the southwest: The city will continue to build the Providence Offsite Storm Trunk. This project is part of the New Community Growth Strategy and involves installing a new 3.6 km system of underground pipe. A large-diameter pipe will carry treated stormwater from storm ponds in 14 new southwest communities to Fish Creek as part of the system that prevents roadway flooding. The $40 million project started in 2022 and will continue into 2026.
  • Doubling the sanitary sewer capacity: Work continues in 2024 on the Nose Creek Sanitary Sewer Trunk, which will more than double the sanitary sewer capacity in north Calgary to support future development and population growth. Much of the project is being completed by tunneling, which reduces construction impacts on park and green space. As part of this work, crews are improving Laycock Park for all users, including completing missing pathway connections and constructing a new parking lot, and rain garden. 
  • Enhancing aging underground utility infrastructure: The city stated that it takes a proactive approach to protecting and replacing aging infrastructure through a variety of annual programs. These programs reduce emergency repairs and service interruptions. In 2024, communities will benefit from planned utility infrastructure enhancements through the water main replacement program, sanitary main replacement program, watermain anode retrofit program and more.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has announced the winners of the 2024 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence, a national competition for new homes, renovations, community development, and residential marketing. Winners were presented during an awards gala in Saint John, New Brunswick, at the final event of CHBA’s Home Building Week in Canada.

More than 900 entries were submitted, making 2024 a record-breaking year for entries. Nearly 300 volunteer industry experts from across Canada went through the submissions to select the finalists and winners.

The competition this year had 48 categories, including single-family homes, multi-family, high-rises and new communities. Two categories for Net Zero Homes showcased top projects from CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program, which has been operating since 2015. The competition also includes categories for home renovations at various price points, and recognizes the best in residential marketing endeavours.

Calgary companies dominated the night’s top honours, with two companies earning repeat wins.

The distinguished Design Excellence Award went to two companies from Calgary: Douglas Homes and Jayman BUILT. The award is given to the company that has the best cumulative results in the new homes and new home spaces categories. It was the third year in a row that Jayman BUILT in Calgary has claimed the award.

Jayman BUILT’s Magna project is being planned for Calgary’s University District.

The Renovation Excellence Award for best overall performance in the home renovation categories was awarded again this year to Ultimate Renovations from Calgary. They were finalists in five categories and came away with three individual awards in addition to the best-overall accolade.

The Marketing Excellence Award for overall success in marketing categories was presented to Mattamy Homes and Gladstone Media from Toronto. In addition to the best overall award, their project BLDV Q was a finalist in three marketing categories, winning one.

“These awards truly demonstrate the variety of homes that are built and renovated in Canada each year. Whether for rent or ownership, changing life circumstances or needs, the professionals that build and renovate Canadian homes and communities are creating spaces that people want to call home. We are proud of the accomplishments of this year’s winners and finalists,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee.

Check out the full list of winners below:

Marketing awards

Best Signage
HIP Developments Inc., Cambridge, ON: “Strata Condos”
with Pureblink

Best Brochure/Kit
EMBLEM Developments Inc., Toronto, ON: “ALLURE”
with The Brand Factory, Arcadis IBI Group

Best Website
Everglade Development, Richmond, BC: “Oakhaus – 20 Townhomes by Oakridge”
with Cynthia Florano Design

Best Digital Advertising Campaign
Branthaven Homes, Burlington, ON: “West&Post”

Best Print Ad
Activa, Waterloo, ON: “Fur Kids Love Activa Energy Efficient Homes”

Best Virtual Tour Experience
Tridel, Toronto, ON: “Harbourwalk”
with II BY IV DESIGN, Pureblink, and The Brand Factory

Best Sales Office
ByBurnac, Toronto, ON: “The Bedford”
with The Brand Factory

Best Short Video (under 45 seconds)
Mattamy Homes and Gladstone Media, Toronto, ON: “BLVD Q”

Best Long Video (45 seconds and longer)
Stranville Living, Lethbridge, AB: “Who Deserves Better?”

Best Interior Decorating (Model/Showhome)
Haven & Co., Saskatoon, SK: “Lakehouse”

Best Renderings
Cielle Properties Inc., Vancouver, BC: “Rundle Park”

Best Branding and Identity
ByBurnac, Toronto, ON: “The Bedford”
with The Brand Factory

Renovation awards

Best Kitchen Renovation under $70,000
Ultimate Renovations, Calgary, AB: “Woodbine Elegance”

Best Kitchen Renovation $70,000-$100,000
Enzo Design Build Inc., West Vancouver, BC: “Zephyr”

Best Kitchen Renovation over $100,000
BRIKS Design Build Group, Toronto, ON: “Chef’s Haven”

Best Bathroom Renovation
Ultimate Renovations, Calgary, AB: “Sovereign Spa Symphony”

Best Basement Renovation
Ultimate Renovations, Calgary, AB: “Sovereign Splendor”

Best Exterior Renovation
Vision Pacific Contracting Ltd., Whistler, BC: “Mountain Haven”

Best Single Room Renovation
West of Main, Ottawa, ON: “Good Vibes House”

Best Whole Home Renovation under $200,000
CADO Developments Inc., Lethbridge, AB: “13th Street Home Remodel”

Best Whole Home Renovation $200,000 – $300,000
Benjamin Matthew Contracting Ltd., Edmonton, AB: “River Valley Revival”

Best Whole Home Renovation $300,001 – $500,000
J. Zsiros Contracting Ltd., Courtenay, BC: “Sandpines”

Best Whole Home Renovation $500,001 – $800,000
Calgreen Homes, Calgary, AB: “The Hidden Oasis”

Best Whole Home Renovation over $800,000
Coulson Design Build Inc., Amherstburg, ON: “Modern Mountain Makeover”

New home awards

Best Mid- to High-Rise Building (Completed)
MOD Developments Inc. and Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, Toronto, ON: “Waterworks”
with Cecconi Simone Inc.

Best Mid- to High-Rise Building (Planned)
Carrington Communities, Kelowna, BC: “Vista Condominiums at Predator Ridge”

Best Entry-Level Home
Douglas Homes, Calgary, AB: “Cambridge”

Best Attached Low-Rise Home under 1500 sq. ft.
Adisa Homes Ltd., Squamish, BC: “Splendid”

Best Attached Low-Rise Home 1500-1800 sq. ft
Jayman BUILT, Calgary, AB: “Brook – The Streams of Lake Mahogany”

Best Attached Low-Rise Home over 1800 sq. ft.
Diverse Properties, Abbotsford, BC: “Iron Horse Rooftop Rowhome 224”

Best Detached Production Home under 1800 sq. ft.
Jayman BUILT, Edmonton, AB: “Taylor 24”

Best Detached Production Home 1800-2100 sq. ft.
Miracon Development Inc., Surrey, BC: “Mirada Estates Lot 57”

Best Detached Production Home 2101 to 2400 sq. ft.
UrbanAge Homes, Edmonton, AB: “The Beverly”

Best Detached Production Home 2401 to 2800 sq. ft.
UrbanAge Homes, Edmonton, AB: “The Augusta”

Best Detached Production Home over 2800 sq. ft.
Marble Construction Ltd., North Vancouver, BC: “The Ottawa House”
with Arcwood Millwork Inc.

Best Detached Custom Home under 2500 sq. ft.
Mavrik Home Builders Ltd., Saskatoon, SK: “The Escher”

Best Detached Custom Home 2501-3000 sq. ft.
Blueline Contracting Ltd., Squamish, BC: “Alpine A-Frame”

Best Detached Custom Home 3001-4000 sq. ft.
Icon Developments Ltd., Ucluelet, BC: “The Muse”

Best Detached Custom Home 4001-5000 sq. ft.
Upward Construction, North Vancouver, BC: “California Dream”
with SGDI Sarah Gallop Design Inc.

Best Detached Custom Home over 5000 sq. ft.
Lux Homes Design & Build Inc., London, ON: “Modern Scandinavian”

Best Production Kitchen
Marble Construction Ltd., North Vancouver, BC: “The Ottawa House”
with Arcwood Millwork

Best Custom Kitchen
Vicky’s Homes, Edmonton, AB: “Vernazza”

Best Bathroom
Jay Robinson Custom Homes Inc., Campbellville, ON: “Chelsea Creek Bathroom”

Best Bedroom/Primary Suite
Vicky’s Homes, Edmonton, AB: “Vernazza”

Net zero home awards

Best Production Net Zero Home
Minto Communities Management Inc. and Metropia, Toronto, ON: “Union Village” with RN Design Ltd., Bluewater Energy Inc., Building Knowledge Canada Inc., and HVAC
Designs Ltd.

Best Custom or Renovated Net Zero Home
RND Construction Ltd., Ottawa, ON: “Quarry Park Modern”
with Hobin Architecture

Community development awards

Best New Community
Dream Unlimited, Edmonton, AB: “Elan – Beaumont”

Best Growing Community
Dream Unlimited, Calgary, AB: “Alpine Park”

Marketing excellence awards

Mattamy Homes and Gladstone Media, Toronto, ON

Renovation excellence award

Ultimate Renovations, Calgary, AB

Design excellence award (tie)

Douglas Homes, Calgary, AB
Jayman BUILT, Calgary, AB

Key Takeaways

  • The project consists of building approximately 200 kilometres of high-pressure natural gas pipeline and related control and compression facilities that will run from Peers, Alberta, to the northeast Edmonton area.
  • The project is expected to create thousands of direct jobs during construction and enable more than $20 billion of investment and associated employment in Alberta by customers, including Dow’s Path2Zero project, while providing additional market access to producers.
  • The project plans to be on-stream in Q4 2027 with construction expected to commence in 2026, subject to regulatory and company approvals.

The Whole Story:

ATCO is embarking on its largest energy project ever—a $2-billion natural gas pipeline in Alberta. 

The Yellowhead Mainline project will expand the capacity and enhance the efficiency of the province’s natural gas network, connecting natural gas producers to key markets and delivering the energy for Alberta’s growing population.  

“As Alberta’s energy demand continues to grow, the Yellowhead Mainline will play a crucial role in reinforcing Alberta’s energy infrastructure and enhancing access to reliable energy from one of the cleanest sources of natural gas on the planet,” said Wayne Stensby, chief operating officer, ATCO Energy Systems. “Canadian Utilities has been delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy for more than 100 years and we are excited to embark on this new landmark infrastructure project which we expect to contribute to a prosperous future for Albertans in the decades to come.”

The project is expected to create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction and will provide gas supply for the more than $20 billion of investment and associated employment in Alberta, including the Dow Fort Saskatchewan Path2Zero project.

“Dow appreciates the partnership with ATCO to supply Dow’s Path2Zero project. Together these projects will have a profound positive impact on communities, creating jobs and economic opportunity for Alberta,” said Diego Ordonez, president, Dow Canada. “Collaboration with government officials, the community of Fort Saskatchewan, our Indigenous neighbors, and the host of partner companies such as ATCO have been key to enabling Dow’s investment to move forward.”

The pipeline project consists of building approximately 200 kilometres of high-pressure natural gas pipeline and related control and compression facilities that will run from Peers, Alta., to the northeast Edmonton area.

Total investment for the project is expected to exceed $2 billion, with more precise cost estimation subject to further refinement of project scope, route and detailed engineering. The expansion is expected to have the capability to deliver about 1 billion cubic feet per day of incremental natural gas delivery capacity and is planned to be on-stream in Q4 2027 with construction expected to commence in 2026, subject to regulatory and company approvals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stantec has signed a $186-million master services agreement with BC Hydro to help upgrade its electrical infrastructure.
  • Stantec will supply transmission and distribution services along with substation design, including electrical, mechanical, civil, structural, and geotechnical engineering services.
  • The agreement is initially termed for seven years, with a potential total term of up to 20 years.

The Whole Story:

Global engineering and design firm Stantec has been selected by BC Hydro to provide transmission and distribution engineering as well as project delivery services for the electrical infrastructure in B.C. The initiative is part of BC Hydro’s 10-year capital plan to modernize its electrical grid and provide reliable energy while driving the clean energy transition forward in the province.

The $186-million master services agreement (MSA) between Stantec and BC Hydro is initially termed for seven years, with a potential total term of up to 20 years. Stantec will supply transmission and distribution services along with substation design, including electrical, mechanical, civil, structural, and geotechnical engineering services. Stantec will also oversee project management, scheduling, cost control, procurement, and contract management, as well as materials management, equipment management, and logistics.

This is the latest agreement between Stantec and BC Hydro, which allows Stantec to support any development from initial system studies, environmental permitting, Indigenous consultation, and engineering design to construction management and post construction monitoring.

“Stantec is proud to assist BC Hydro in this major endeavor to modernize and expand the electrical grid in British Columbia,” says Mario Finis, executive vice president of energy & resources at Stantec. “Renewable energy generation is only part of the transition to a clean energy future. We must also design, build, and maintain the transmission and distribution infrastructure needed to safely and reliably deliver clean energy to meet the needs of our communities. Stantec will be there to support these grid modernization efforts in British Columbia and around the world.”

BC Hydro released its 10-year capital plan in January. The plan, called Power Pathway: Building BC’s Energy Future, outlines the investments BC Hydro plans to make to sustain and expand the electricity system. It has three main objectives:

  • to support the electrification of the province and meet CleanBC emissions reductions targets;
  • to reinforce the system to enable customer connections and meet load growth;
  • and to sustain the system, ensuring the province can safely and reliably meet the needs of its customers while keeping rates low.

Stantec noted that it is no stranger to this type of work. The firm is currently serving as owner’s engineer for the SunZia Transmission Project, which is part of the largest clean energy infrastructure initiative in U.S. history and will deliver 3,000 megawatts of power to communities throughout the southwest US. Stantec’s teams are also providing specialist services for more than a dozen major high voltage direct current (HVDC) projects globally.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Alberta is embarking on a journey to develop a Passenger Rail Master Plan that will assess the best path forward for building passenger rail services throughout the province. 
  • The vision includes a province-led “Metrolinx-like” Crown corporation with a mandate to develop the infrastructure and oversee daily operations.
  • Officials have released a Request for Expression of Interest for consultants as a first step. Following this process, a Request for Proposal will be issued to select a consultant to develop the plan. The plan is expected to be completed by summer 2025.

The Whole Story:

Alberta has announced a sweeping vision for passenger rail in the province. 

This week officials announced Alberta’s Passenger Rail Master Plan which will look forward decades and identify concrete actions to develop a passenger rail system. The Master Plan will assess the feasibility of passenger rail in the province, including regional (inter-city), commuter and high-speed services.

The government’s vision is for an Alberta passenger rail system that includes public, private or hybrid passenger rail, including:

  • a commuter rail system for the Calgary area that connects surrounding communities and the Calgary International Airport to downtown;
  • a commuter rail system for the Edmonton area that connects surrounding communities and the Edmonton International Airport to downtown;
  • regional rail lines from Calgary and Edmonton to the Rocky Mountain parks;
  • a regional rail line between Calgary and Edmonton, with a local transit hub in Red Deer;
  • municipal-led LRT systems in Calgary and Edmonton that integrate with the provincial passenger rail system; and
  • rail hubs serving the major cities that would provide linkages between a commuter rail system, regional rail routes and municipal-led mass transit systems.

The vision includes a province-led “Metrolinx-like” Crown corporation with a mandate to develop the infrastructure and oversee daily operations, fare collection/booking systems, system maintenance, and planning for future system expansion.

Officials stated that the master plan is designed to get government the information it needs to make the best decisions for return on investment. The plan will provide a cost-benefit analysis and define what is required by government, including a governance and delivery model, legislation, funding, and staging to implement passenger rail in Alberta. This work will include a 15-year delivery plan that will prioritize and sequence investments.

“A large and efficient passenger rail network stretching across the province has incredible potential,” said Danielle Smith, Alberta premier. “It represents a forward-looking vision and is a mobility solution for our rapidly growing province and I’m excited to watch this plan take shape and bring us into the future. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m confident that we will build the network Albertans need to improve daily life and work, boost the economy and take away the stress of long-distance travel.”

The plan will take into account future growth, planning for the growing provincial population and considering the use of hydrogen-powered trains to ensure a robust and effective passenger rail system.

Development of the Master Plan will include engagement with Albertans to gain their perspectives for the future of passenger rail in Alberta. 

Alberta’s government has released a Request for Expression of Interest to seek world-class knowledge and consultant services as a first step toward the development of the Passenger Rail Master Plan for Alberta. Following this process, a Request for Proposal will be issued to select a consultant to develop the Passenger Rail Master Plan. The Master Plan is expected to be completed by summer 2025.

Key Takeaways:

  • The province is currently undertaking fieldwork, including borehole drilling and engineering, to evaluate soil composition and bedrock depth.
  • By mid-May, the province plans to host a market sounding event with key private sector experts to discuss ways to move construction forward quickly and efficiently.
  • The project is expected to contribute $350 million to the province’s real GDP and support 3,500 jobs each year, such as heavy equipment operators, drilling and coring contractors, concrete and steel workers, utility contractors, environmental specialists, laboratory technologists and safety inspectors.
  • Highway 413 is a proposed 52-kilometre highway and transitway that will include extensions to Highways 410 and 427.

The Whole Story:

The Ontario government announced it is moving ahead to get shovels in the ground on Highway 413 after having reached an agreement with the federal government for the project to proceed with environmental protections.

“We are delivering on our promise to build Highway 413 with a plan to fix gridlock and get drivers across Halton, Peel and York regions where they need to go faster,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Highway 413 will help meet the needs of our growing province as a prosperity corridor that will create thousands of good-paying union jobs during the construction phase and make life easier and more convenient for millions of drivers in the GTA and across Ontario. We’re getting it done.”

The province is currently undertaking fieldwork, including borehole drilling and engineering, to evaluate soil composition and bedrock depth. By mid-May, the province will be hosting a market sounding event with key private sector experts to discuss ways to move construction forward quickly and efficiently, taking advantage of new technologies and project acceleration strategies while maximizing opportunities for economic development.

The province will be meeting with property owners to acquire land and, if the Get it Done Act passes, will begin expediting land acquisitions in the fall. In addition, the province is planning for the release of the first early works construction contracts to begin building Highway 413 in 2025, subject to all necessary approvals.

“We have a responsibility to ensure Ontario drivers have more time to spend on the moments that really matter in life, not stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, minister of transportation. “Highway 413 will bring much-needed relief to drivers across the GTA and our government is proud to be getting it done.”

During construction, Highway 413 is expected to contribute $350 million to the province’s real GDP and support 3,500 jobs each year, such as heavy equipment operators, drilling and coring contractors, concrete and steel workers, utility contractors, environmental specialists, laboratory technologists and safety inspectors.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is reviving our construction sector with critical infrastructure projects like Highway 413, which will create thousands of well-paying careers,” said David Piccini, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “The skilled trades is a major driver of Ontario’s economic prosperity. As our government makes record investments in job-creating critical infrastructure, we’re proud to work with union and industry partners through our over $1 billion Skills Development Fund to create the talent highway for workers to land a better job with a bigger paycheck in the skilled trades.”

Highway 413 is a central component of the government’s transportation plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, designed to improve travel options and drive economic growth throughout the region.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority has begun the first phase of procurement for its LIFT program which will see billions of dollars spent on airport upgrades over the next decade and beyond.
  • The first phase of a procurement process included an industry forum for 700 participants from design, construction, and technology industry companies.
  • The first program of LIFT will focus on modernizing airport assets, including high speed taxi lanes to improve airfield performance, modernized airfield electric lighting and control system, interim terminal facilities, and investments in power generation to advance towards net-zero targets.

The Whole Story:

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has initiated discussions with design and construction companies on Pearson LIFT – Long term Investment in Facilities and Terminals (LIFT), a program that includes more than a decade of capital projects that include billions of dollars worth of upgrade work.

The discussion will cover the procurement, planning and vision of the program. LIFT’s goal is to prepare the airport for future challenges and opportunities.

Toronto Pearson executives launched the first phase of a procurement process at an industry forum for 700 participants from design, construction, and technology industry companies.

“Toronto Pearson has been meeting passenger needs by deploying extraordinary resources to many of its aged assets and facilities, which is not a sustainable solution with passenger traffic expected to grow to approximately 65 million annually by the early 2030s – a figure that takes the airport beyond its 45 million passengers in 2023,” said officials.

Officials added that Toronto Pearson Airport is making smart investments to accommodate increasing passenger demand with a focus on affordability, smart design and sustainability.

“Through LIFT, we will deliver a world-class passenger experience, integrate smart architecture, unlock the digital potential in air travel, and advance towards a net-zero future,” said Deborah Flint, president and CEO, GTAA. “These plans are anchored to our ambition to build an airport that will strengthen international competitiveness, leverage innovation, and advance sustainability, all which drive economic returns for Canada.”

The first program of LIFT will focus on modernizing airport assets, including high speed taxi lanes to improve airfield performance, modernized airfield electric lighting and control system, interim terminal facilities, and investments in power generation to advance towards net-zero targets.

“LIFT is an investment in Canada’s future economic prosperity and is poised to generate billions of dollars in economic benefits,” said Doug Allingham, chairman of the board, GTAA. These necessary investments will strengthen the supply chain, open the door to new opportunities for Canadian businesses, and create good jobs right here in the GTA. Together, they will enable sustainable growth and competitiveness on a global scale.”

These enhancements will pave the way for Toronto Pearson to become one of the greenest, technologically advanced, and passenger-friendly airports in North America and globally.

Major construction projects at Pearson Airport in recent years have focused on runway rehabilitation, baggage system upgrades, and infrastructure improvements at the nearby Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. These projects include:

  • Runway 06L/24R Rehabilitation Project: In early 2022, Pearson temporarily closed its second-busiest east/west runway, Runway 06L/24R, for a full rehabilitation project. This was one of the largest runway repair projects in the airport’s history. The work was completed in phases and lasted until late 2022, extending the life of the runway by 30 years and enhancing safety.
  • Baggage System Upgrades: Pearson has been working to revitalize its baggage operations system to accommodate rising passenger numbers. This has involved implementing new infrastructure and technology, such as a Baggage Control Centre, early bag stores, and real-time baggage information for employees.

Key Takeaways:

  • The South Fraser Station Partners team has been selected as the preferred proponent.
  • The team includes Aecon Constructors, Pomerleau and AECOM Canada.
  • The scope of work includes designing and building eight new stations for the project, including cycling and walking paths around the new stations.

The Whole Story:

Plans for Surrey Langley SkyTrain have taken another step forward with the selection of a preferred proponent team to design and build eight new stations for the project, including cycling and walking paths around the new stations.

Following a competitive procurement process, the province has chosen South Fraser Station Partners to enter into contract negotiations. The South Fraser Station Partners team is comprised of:

  • Aecon Constructors, a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.;
  • Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc.; 
  • Pomerleau BC Inc.; and
  • AECOM Canada Ltd.

“We’re proud at Pomerleau to be collaborating with our client, the province of British Columbia, and our partners on a project that will offer those who live, work, study, and play south of the Fraser River sustainable transportation options,” said Philippe, Adam, president and CEO of Pomerleau.

As the province enters contract negotiations with South Fraser Station Partners, the team will start early works on the project, such as pre-construction site surveys, locating utilities, geotechnical drilling and station design work.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is a 16-kilometre extension of the Expo Line from King George Station to Langley City Centre, the first rapid-transit expansion south of the Fraser River in 30 years.

Other early works are underway along the Fraser Highway corridor. This includes work to relocate power lines and prepare for the start of major construction this year. Major construction is expected to begin this year.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is being delivered through three separate contracts. Last month, the province announced that SkyLink Guideway Partners has been chosen as the preferred proponent to design, build and finance the elevated guideway and associated roadworks, utilities and active transportation elements of the project.

The competitive selection process for the systems and trackwork contract is ongoing. Requests for proposals for all three phases were issued in early 2023. Formal contract-award announcements are anticipated in the coming months.

Key Takeaways: 

  • The design features a new 1,000-seat theatre and 200-seat studio theatre.
  • Behind the design is team that includes Toronto’s KPMB Architects, Calgary’s Hindle Architects, and Arizona’s Tawaw Architecture Collective.
  • Supported by project manager Colliers and construction manager EllisDon, construction is anticipated to begin in late 2024, and the building is expected to open in Arts Commons’ 2028/2029 season.

The Whole Story:

After two years of planning and design work, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and its partners at Arts Commons and The City of Calgary have revealed the architectural design for the Arts Commons Transformation expansion.

The new building, which will feature a 1,000-seat theatre and 200-seat studio theatre, is the largest arts-focused infrastructure project currently underway in Canada.

“The transformation of the Arts Commons campus is a more than half-billion-dollar investment in Calgary’s arts and cultural future,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of CMLC, and the project’s development manager. “Together with our partners at The City of Calgary and Arts Commons, CMLC has been working with the prime design team since early 2022 to advance the concept and schematic designs for this extraordinary city-building project. Today we’re ecstatic to reach a monumental milestone: the public unveiling of the new building’s design.”

An exterior nighttime rendering shows the Arts Commons Transformation expansion’s curved form, exterior cladding, and interior finishes inspired by Alberta’s dramatic landscapes and the regional lodge typologies.

Thompson noted that the team, through their collective experience, local knowledge and proven expertise in major arts and theatre projects, has delivered an  inspiring design—a spectacular three-level building with 162,000 sq ft of modern features and amenities that will elevate Calgary’s growing arts community.”

Behind the expansion’s design is a team of internationally recognized architects and designers from Toronto’s KPMB Architects, Calgary’s Hindle Architects, and Arizona’s Tawaw Architecture Collective.

“At the heart of the Arts Commons Transformation project is an intention to create a new performing arts space that is ‘of and for Calgary’– a place where everyone is welcome,” said Kevin Bridgman, partner at KPMB, representing the prime design team. “This simple yet powerful idea inspired our design for a purpose-built facility that reflects the spirit of the community it serves, is thoughtfully connected to its history and culture, and is designed with respect for its surroundings.

“The expansion building’s curved form, exterior cladding, and interior finishes are inspired by Alberta’s dramatic landscapes and the regional lodge typologies,” continued Bridgman. “With a naturally lit, fully transparent ground floor, the design team placed importance on the southeast corner where a gathering circle with a skylight provides space that welcomes Calgarians and encourages visitors to come together and share stories.”

The expansion will boost Arts Commons’ seating capacity by 45%—space the city says it urgently needs to meet burgeoning demand for arts and culture and to facilitate the aspirations of its arts community.

“Building on the momentum of the investment and work already underway through The City of Calgary’s Downtown Strategy, the Arts Commons Transformation is at the heart of how we bring Calgary’s downtown to life with the creative economy,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “A thriving creative sector is essential to making the city more resilient and diverse, for both economic and community-building reasons. The expansion of Arts Commons will further elevate Calgary’s stature on the world stage and draw even more people to the downtown core.”

Officials say the expansion’s design was supported by specialists in theatre planning and acoustic design to ensure the new theatre spaces exceed best-in-class technical requirements. The 1,000-seat theatre has the capacity to alter the floor layout to several unique configurations to accommodate the broadest variety of productions, and the 200-seat studio theatre’s design will enable multiple configurations with retractable and demountable platform seating and an opening out to the plaza.

A daytime rendering of the ACT expansion’s lobby with a naturally lit, fully transparent ground floor on the southeast corner.

The prime design team also included an accessibility consultant to ensure the spaces are inclusive and accessible for all. The main floor entry and both stages are set flush to the adjacent pedestrian realm to allow for barrier free access to the performance spaces, and boast theatre seating at all levels and multiple central elevators.

The $660-million project includes the Arts Commons expansion and modernization, the transformation of Olympic Plaza, and a $50-million Arts Commons endowment. The $270-million expansion of Arts Commons is fully funded by The City of Calgary and CMLC’s Community Revitalization Levy. The modernization, which is still in design stages, has an anticipated project cost of $270 million and will require additional funding prior to construction commencing.

The adjacent Olympic Plaza Transformation is still in conceptual design and has an anticipated project cost of $70 million, of which $40 million is already committed through the city’s 2023-2026 budget for downtown revitalization. With the recent announcement from the Government of Alberta of an additional allocation of $103 million toward the overall campus vision, the project has made significant progress towards achieving its funding objectives.

Supported by project manager Colliers and construction manager EllisDon, construction on the expansion is anticipated to begin in late 2024, and the building is expected to open in Arts Commons’ 2028/2029 season.

As the expansion site is prepared for construction through 2024, the city will relocate the Famous Five sculpture and Parks Depot.

To facilitate construction on both the Arts Commons expansion and the Olympic Plaza Transformation, events and programming in Olympic Plaza will be paused at the end of 2024. The City of Calgary says it will work with event organizers to identify alternate locations for their events during construction.

A rendering of the new 1,000-seat theatre in the expansion of Arts Commons, set up for a rock concert. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The preferred bidder is Capital Line Design-Builders, consisting of team members Ledcor and AECOM.
  • The city will now enter into negotiations with Capital Line Design-Builders with the goal of awarding the contract by the end of May.
  • The entire project is expected to cost around $1.1 billion. 

The Whole Story:

The City of Edmonton has selected its preferred bidder to design and build Phase 1 of the Capital Line South Extension from Century Park to just north of Ellerslie Road. 

The preferred bidder is Capital Line Design-Builders, consisting of team members Ledcor and AECOM.

The city will now enter into negotiations with Capital Line Design-Builders with the goal of awarding the contract by the end of May.

Construction of the 4.5-kilometre extension is scheduled to begin later this year. Construction is expected to take four to five years, followed by testing and commissioning. 

A rendering shows part of the Capital Line extension’s design. – City of Edmonton

“We’d like to thank the bidding teams for participating in our procurement. We’re confident our fair and rigorous competitive process will ensure Phase 1 of the Capital Line South Extension will result in excellent value for Edmontonians and further strengthen our mass transit network,” said Bruce Ferguson, Branch Manager of LRT Expansion and Renewal with the City of Edmonton.

The city launched its Capital Line South procurement process in June 2022 and shortlisted two bidders in March 2023. Both bidders provided technical submissions, including draft designs and plans, to demonstrate their ability to meet the city’s technical requirements. Both bidders passed and were invited to submit a financial proposal. The city evaluated these proposals to ensure they met financial requirements, and the team with the highest combined technical and financial score was selected as the preferred bidder. 

Early works construction for Phase 1 of the Capital Line South extension is well underway and will continue throughout 2024. Major LRT construction along the alignment is anticipated to start later this year.

An economic assessment of the project estimates construction will generate $330 million in wages in Alberta and another $100 million throughout the country. The project is expected to generate 3,700 jobs in the province and another 1,700 across Canada.

The $1.1-billion project has funding commitments from the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton.

Capital Line was Edmonton’s first LRT. Planning for the line started in 1962, and service from Belvedere Station to Central Station began in time for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Between 1981 and 2006, six more stations opened, expanding the LRT line in the Northeast to the University area. Progress on the South portion of the Capital Line has occurred in stages. Preliminary Engineering from Century Park to Ellerslie Road was completed in 2010. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Ontario and Ottawa have reached a new agreement developing and funding various infrastructure projects around the city.
  • The agreement includes up to $197 million over three years in provincial operating supports and up to $346 million over 10 years in provincial capital supports.
  • This includes the maintenance and rehabilitation for Ottawa Road 174 while a three-stage phased assessment of potential provincial ownership of the road is underway.
  • The city and the province are now calling on the federal government to join them in improving the city.

The Whole Story:

The Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa say they have reached a new deal around major infrastructure spending. 

The agreement includes a phased plan to guide the upload of Ottawa Road 174 to the province, provincial support for the repair and upgrade of the city’s major connecting routes and rural roads, designing and building a new interchange at Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road, and opening a new police neighbourhood operations centre in the ByWard Market area.

“This historic new deal reflects our government’s dedication to the economic success of Ottawa and all of eastern Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I want to thank Mayor Sutcliffe for working with us to reach an agreement that will help Ottawa continue rebuilding its economy and deliver on key priorities, including building homes and highways. Now it’s up to the federal government to step up with support for our national capital, particularly when it comes to funding infrastructure and supporting shelters and asylum claimants.”

Ontario and Ottawa are now calling on the federal government to “step up” and support that recognizes its responsibility to the national capital and helps restore public transit ridership while revitalizing Ottawa’s downtown economy.

“This is a big win for Ottawa,” said Mayor Mark Sutcliffe. “These investments will relieve significant budget pressures for the city and will help us to deliver better services to our residents. It’s also an example of what happens when elected officials do what the voters expect them to do: work together to solve problems and build better, safer, more affordable communities. I want to thank Premier Ford and Minister Bethlenfalvy for being great partners and for understanding the unique challenges that Ottawa faces.”

In recognition of the unique economic and social challenges faced by the City of Ottawa, which has had a slower rebound from the effects of the pandemic and is an economic and social service hub for people across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, Ontario is providing up to $543 million in operating and capital funding tailored to fuelling Ottawa’s economic recovery and accelerating revitalization of the downtown core. Funding will further support upgrading and building essential road and highway infrastructure to support the local economy and drivers across Ottawa’s large suburban and rural footprint.

The agreement includes up to $197 million over three years in provincial operating supports and up to $346 million over 10 years in provincial capital supports, including:

  • Maintenance and rehabilitation for Ottawa Road 174 while a three-stage phased assessment of potential provincial ownership of the road is underway.
  • Funding to help revitalize the downtown area, with dedicated funding to Invest Ottawa.
  • Funding to support public safety and address increased levels of crime, which have had an impact on city services.
  • Additional conditional funding for emergency shelters and homelessness prevention to address the needs of increasing levels of homelessness.
  • The repair and upgrade of major connecting routes and roads. 
  • Advancing design and construction of a new interchange at Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road to support population growth and development.
  • Funding for the Kanata North Transitway to support economic growth and recovery.
  • Support for housing- and community-enabling infrastructure through the Building Faster Fund, conditional on the city achieving at least 80 per cent of its housing targets.
  • In addition to financial supports, Ontario commits to working with Ottawa to explore opportunities to fund and build more infrastructure, including through the Building Ontario Fund and policy changes to assist the city in removing barriers to getting more homes built faster.

The City of Ottawa has made a number of reciprocal commitments to Ontario, including opening up municipal lands for housing development to support shared housing priorities, ensuring Ottawa meets and exceeds its housing targets, strengthening the city’s vacant home tax, implementing efficiency measures that minimize the property tax burden on Ottawa’s people and businesses and facilitating the development of a long-term care home at The Ottawa Hospital.

Ontario and Ottawa are calling on the Government of Canada to provide federal support on shared priorities, including shelter supports for asylum claimants, infrastructure funding to support new housing, and support for Ottawa’s unique and excess costs arising from managing protests and demonstrations in the capital.

In addition, as the largest employer in the city, Ontario and Ottawa ask the federal government to do its part to help revitalize the downtown economy. 

“The federal government has an important responsibility to revive Ottawa’s downtown and ensure the city’s unique character and attractions continue making the nation’s capital a tourism destination for Canadians and international visitors,” said the city and the province in a statement to media. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is providing up to $140 million to support water and wastewater infrastructure projects in Manitoba.
  • Officials say the partnership strengthens water systems and resources in Southern Manitoba to meet current and future water needs.
  • The work includes upgrades to the Water Treatment Facility in Brandon and the construction of a new centralized wastewater treatment plant for a group of municipalities

The Whole Story:

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is loaning a combined up to $140 million to support five communities with water and wastewater infrastructure projects in Manitoba. This green infrastructure partnership will enable construction of new facilities which will deliver cleaner water and better wastewater treatment for approximately 78,000 housing units, while supporting the communities’ sustainable growth.

Water and wastewater infrastructure plays a critical role in enabling clean waterways, protecting the local environment and safeguarding public health,” Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank, said. “Our partnership strengthens water systems and resources in Southern Manitoba to meet current and future water needs. By investing in new water and wastewater infrastructure, the CIB provides communities with the certainty they need to plan for municipal growth and future housing development opportunities.”

Investment commitments have been made with the City of Brandon and to the Red-Seine-Rat (RSR) Wastewater Cooperative, comprised of the Rural Municipality of Taché, Rural Municipality of Hanover, Rural Municipality of Ritchot, Town of Niverville, and City of Brandon.

The municipalities are further supported with funding from the Province of Manitoba and Infrastructure Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Province of Manitoba acted as an aggregator, supporting and coordinating with the municipal partners.

All water and wastewater infrastructure will continue to remain publicly owned and operated by the municipalities, who remain responsible for the delivery of these essential projects.

Modern water treatment infrastructure is a critical public service for residents who depend on potable water for drinking, cooking, and washing, alongside meeting requirements for public, commercial, and industrial activities. Improved wastewater treatment systems provide opportunities for sustainable growth while protecting Canada’s freshwater resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Officials say the partnership means communities can deliver on their growth planning for residential, industrial, and commercial developments, while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

Together, the projects will provide the necessary enabling infrastructure capacity for the addition of approximately 2,300 new housing units in Brandon and 12,600 new housing units in RSR.

The new water and wastewater infrastructure will supply communities, businesses, and industries with potable water, as well as collect, treat, and discharge wastewater to manage storm water runoff. Specific details of the Brandon and RSR projects include the following.

City of Brandon

  • The Water Treatment Facility Upgrade and Expansion project will enable Manitoba’s second-largest city to provide potable water that meets and exceeds the standards set by the Manitoba Office of Drinking Water.
  • The Southwest Brandon Wastewater Servicing project will help expand coverage of existing wastewater processing facility to accommodate residential and commercial demand in this growing region of the City.

RSR (Municipalities of Taché, Hanover, Ritchot, and the Town of Niverville)

  • The project will provide the communities with a new centralized wastewater treatment plant, moving away from traditional wastewater lagoons to mechanized wastewater treatment.
  • The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55,300 tonnes over its life, and add the significant additional capacity required to support some of the fastest growing communities in Manitoba.
  • The RSR project will also include installation of a wastewater conveyance system with approximately 90 kilometres of effluent pipeline, as well as new lift and pump stations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Calgary will receive $23 million as part of the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative’s (RHI) city stream.
  • It will support two projects, Hope Heights and Onward.
  • The projects are expected to create at least 64 new units.

The Whole Story:

The Governments of Canada, Alberta and the City of Calgary announced combined funding of more than $23 million for Calgary, one of the 41 recipients of the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative’s (RHI) city stream. This investment is expected to help create at least 64 new units across two projects. 

Hope Heights is being developed by HomeSpace Society into a four-storey apartment building located at 117 12 Street, in the established community of Crescent Heights just north of Downtown, Calgary. The project includes 35 one-bedroom rental units, with at least 12 units designated for women and/or women and children.

Residents will also have access to wrap-around support services on-site. The project received $7.3 million under the Cities Stream of the third round of the RHI3 from the federal government through CMHC, $872,975.00 from the City of Calgary, $2.1 million from the Government of Alberta, and $1.3 million donation from Calgary builder Hopewell. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2024. 

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we are providing new homes for people who need them most right across the country including here in Calgary,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing, infrastructure and communities.” 

Onward is developing a low-rise apartment building offering 29 affordable rental units near Westbrook Mall. Comprising of mostly 2-bedroom units, the housing will support women and children. The project called Killarney received $8.3 million under the Cities Stream of the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI3) from the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), $1.1 million from the City of Calgary, and $3.4 million from the Government of Alberta. Construction is expected to be completed in late summer 2024. 

Funding for these projects is made possible by the federal government’s additional investment of $1.5 billion through RHI, bringing the program’s total to $4 billion to support those most in need across the country. The additional funding for the third round of RHI is divided into two streams: $1 billion through the Projects Stream and $500 million towards the Cities Stream.

Exceeding its initial target, this round of RHI3 is expected to help build over 5,200 new homes in Canada. The total number of homes that will be created with the support of RHI is over 15,500. 

Contributions from the Government of Alberta were made through the Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP). This is cost-matched through the Canada – Alberta Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy. 

Funding for these projects is as follows: 

Hope Heights 

  • $7.4 million in funding through RHI3 Cities Stream
  • $872,975.00 from the City of Calgary 
  • $2.1 million of federal and provincial funding through the Canada – Alberta Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy (NHS)
  • $1.26 million from Calgary builder Hopewell Residential via the former RESOLVE campaign 

Killarney 

  • $8.3 million in funding through RHI3 Cities Stream 
  • $1.1 million from the City of Calgary
  • $3.4 million of federal and provincial funding through the Canada – Alberta Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) 

*Editors Note: This is a developing story and content may be updated or changed as new information is released.

The world woke up Tuesday to news of one of the worst infrastructure disasters in recent memory. Information about the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland is changing rapidly but there is what we know so far.

What happened to the bridge

Dali, a container ship chartered by global shipping giant Maersk and flying under the flag of Singapore, appeared to lose power and drift into the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning. Shipping data shows the vessel is 300 metres long and was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka. The incident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Video shows the ship colliding with one of the bridge’s support columns, causing it to collapse. According to local reports, the ship issued a “mayday” shortly before the collision. Dali was also involved in a collision in 2016 in Antwerp, Belgium, according to online shipping records. Since it was built in 2015, the ship has undergone 27 inspections. 

Casualty numbers remain unclear

The exact casualty numbers are not yet known but officials are calling it a mass casualty event. Officials say a team of eight people were repairing potholes on the bridge at the time of the incident. As of Tuesday morning, two had been rescued and six were still missing. Officials added that sonar has detected vehicles in the water. All of the personnel on the vessel are accounted for, with no reported injuries.

Local and national response

Maryland Governor Wes Moore stated that his office is in close communication with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and the Baltimore Fire Department as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. 

“I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration,” said Moore. “We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.”

President Joe Biden told reporters that he intends for the federal government to pay for the entire replacement of the bridge. 

The Port of Baltimore announced that vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice. 

“This does not mean the Port of Baltimore is closed,” officials said. “Trucks are being processed within our marine terminals. At this time we do not know how long vessel traffic will be suspended. As soon as that is determined we will provide an update. Until then please keep those involved in your prayers.”

Aging infrastructure

According to the latest Infrastructure Report Card that is issued every four years in the U.S. by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the state of Maryland’s bridges is improving as the number of poor bridges in the state continues to decline.

Approximately 5% of Maryland’s bridges were listed as “poor” condition, compared to the national average of 8.4%. However, Maryland bridge owners face growing challenges associated with an aging bridge stock. On average, Maryland bridges are 48 years old, which means they are approaching the end of their 50-year lifespan. The Francis Scott Key Bridge was 47 years old. Approximately 25% of bridges in Maryland are over 60 years old.

History of the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Construction of the steel arch-shaped continuous through truss bridge began in 1972 to alleviate traffic and maintenance concerns regarding the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. It opened in March 1977 as the final link in I-695 Baltimore Beltway, spanning the Patapsco River at the harbor entrance. Named after Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the bridge was seen as a significant engineering feat, being one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the United States. It is part of Maryland Route 695 and carries an estimated 11.5 million vehicles annually.

Impact on the Port of Baltimore

The Port of Baltimore not only boasts one of the major cargo hubs in the U.S. but also hosts a cruise terminal servicing Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean, offering year-round cruises. In fiscal year 2016, the cruise terminal saw off 440,000 passengers, ranking it second in the Mid-Atlantic and 11th in the U.S. for cruise passenger volume. However, the terminal’s capacity faces constraints due to limitations in accommodating multiple vessel calls per day and impending air draft restrictions at the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695).

According to the state’s Infrastructure Report Card, as both cargo and cruise ships continue to increase in size, the air draft restrictions at the Chesapeake Bay and Francis Scott Key Bridges will pose significant challenges. Engineers noted in 2020 that ships taller than 185 feet risk safety concerns passing under the bridges to and from the Port of Baltimore, with some of the largest vessels nearing an air draft of 230 feet.

A map shows the Port of Baltimore with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in red. – Creative Commons License

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Stations, Rail and Systems (SRS) contract for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE).

This package of work will be procured through a progressive design-build contract model. The scope of work includes:

  • Seven new stations;
  • installation, testing, and commissioning of all rail and track components and systems equipment;
  • roadway modifications and utility works; and
  • coordination with project companies on handover items from the advance tunnelling and elevated guideway contracts.

The RFQ is the first step in the procurement process to select a team to deliver the ECWE SRS package. IO and Metrolinx will evaluate submissions to prequalify teams with the relevant experience and financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity. Interested companies must register with www.merx.com to download the RFQ.

The 9.2-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is being delivered in four separate procurement contracts. The contracts include:

  • The first advance tunnelling contract, which covers the underground segment of the line between Renforth Drive and Scarlett Road;
  • The second advance tunnelling contract, which covers the underground segment of the line between Jane Street and Mount Dennis Station;
  • The contract for the elevated guideway (managed by Metrolinx), which covers the above-ground section of the route between Scarlett Road and Jane Street; and,
  • The Stations, Rail, and Systems contract.

Key Takeaways:

  • A total of 17 new projects in Metro Vancouver have been selected through the third intake of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF).
  • The proposed projects will provide a total of 1,954 affordable rental homes.
  • Additional projects on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and North will be announced later this week

The Whole Story:

Nearly 2,000 new affordable homes are on the way for renters in Metro Vancouver, through partnerships between the Province and local non-profit housing providers.

A total of 17 new projects in Metro Vancouver have been selected through the third intake of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF). The proposed projects will provide a total of 1,954 affordable rental homes for individuals, families, seniors, people living with disabilities and Indigenous people in B.C.

“Everyone deserves a decent home they can actually afford,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why we’re taking unprecedented actions to rapidly build more affordable housing throughout the province, including through the Community Housing Fund. This latest round of funding will bring much-needed homes to every region of our province – from our fastest-growing cities to rural and remote areas – helping everyone find a decent home in the community they love.”

The announcement took place at 7567-140 St. in Surrey, the future site of an affordable housing project that will be operated by Kekinow Native Housing Society. Expected to be completed in late spring 2024, the project previously received CHF funding for Phase 2 of the development to build more than 100 homes for Indigenous people. The society will be receiving CHF funding for another project as one of the successful proponents from the CHF call for proposals issued in fall 2023.

“Through our Homes for People action plan, we are taking action to deliver affordable housing faster, and the Community Housing Fund is a key part of the plan,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “These new homes mean that more people in B.C. will benefit from affordable homes in the communities they love, where they can grow their families and age in place.”

Including these projects, the province, through BC Housing, has identified more than 40 new projects to move forward, totalling approximately 3,500 affordable rental homes. Additional projects on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and North will be announced later this week. This brings the total to 12,500 affordable rental homes that are already open or underway through the CHF program since its launch in 2018.

The Community Housing Fund is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are three major construction phases of the redevelopment, which will be run as two separate projects.
  • In addition to schematic design drawings, residents were able to view a video simulating a flyover of the new patient tower and power plant.
  • The next step is design development, which entails creating the entire construction plan, including building finishes as well as plumbing and electrical components. 

The Whole Story:

Alberta’s government has offered a sneak peek at what’s planned for the massive Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre redevelopment.

In addition to schematic design drawings, residents were able to view a video simulating a flyover of the new patient tower and power plant. Project representatives were also on hand to speak about the project. The session was attended by about 150 residents, media and officials including Ken Johnston, mayor of Red Deer.

Alberta’s government made the first significant commitment and progress on the hospital by allocating $100 million in Budget 2020, followed by another $1.8-billion commitment in Budget 2022. 

“We were excited to share schematic designs for the Red Deer Hospital redevelopment yesterday,” said Pete Guthrie, minister of infrastructure. “The number of people who attended the session validates the importance of this project to the central region. We are proud of the role Infrastructure is playing in delivering one of the most ambitious hospital redevelopment projects in Alberta’s history.”

Design work began in June 2023. With schematic design now complete, the hospital redevelopment is on schedule and on budget. The next stage of the project, design development, is now underway. Once complete, the new expansion will add up to 200 beds to the existing facility, bringing the total number of beds to up to 570.

“As the MLA for Red Deer-North and the Health Minister, I’m very proud of the progress we’ve achieved, and I remain dedicated to advocating for this project,” said Adriana LaGrange, minister of health. “Albertans should be able to access health care when and where they need it. This project will improve health outcomes for Albertans living in Red Deer and across central Alberta by increasing the facility’s capacity and providing much-needed services and resources, including new cardiac catheterization labs, close to home.”

View of Central Alberta Cancer Centre (CACC) New Drop-off from 52nd Avenue

View of Power Plant Addition

View of New Patient Tower Entry from 39th Street

There are three major construction phases of the redevelopment, which will be run as two separate projects:

  • Project 1: construction of a new inpatient tower, and an expansion and renovation of the existing hospital’s main building. 
  • Project 2: construction of an ambulatory care building using a public-private partnership (P3) delivery model.  

The project will upgrade several services throughout the hospital site including:

  • an additional inpatient tower 
  • six new operating rooms 
  • new Medical Device Reprocessing department 
  • new cardiac catheterization labs 
  • renovations to various areas within the main building 
  • newly renovated and expanded emergency department, and  
  • a new ambulatory clinic building to be located adjacent to the surface parkade. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The BMO Centre expansion project has reached substantial completion after four years of work. 
  • This required over two million construction hours and contributions from nearly 5,000 tradespeople, including demolition crews, steelworkers, drywall installers, and electrical and mechanical teams.
  • The expanded BMO Centre will host its first event – the Global Energy Show – in June 2024.

The Whole Story:

After four years of construction, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede have announced the substantial completion of the $500-million BMO Centre expansion, moving the project into its final stages of operational readiness ahead of its grand opening in June.

“As development manager for this transformative project, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation is proud to have delivered the BMO Centre expansion on schedule and on budget,” said Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO. “This is a major accomplishment for CMLC and our partners, and a huge step toward achieving our vision for a vibrant and active Culture + Entertainment District. The expanded BMO Centre is second to none in its design architecture and functionality, and sets a new precedent for convention facilities. We are thrilled to hand over the keys to the newly expanded BMO Centre to the Calgary Stampede team as they prepare to operationalize the building in advance of its grand opening this June.”

Thompson added that achieving the milestone would not have been possible without the generous support of all levels of government or without the dedication and expertise of its construction manager, PCL Construction, and project manager, M3 Project Management. 

“Our gratitude also extends to our world-class design team of Stantec, Populous and S2 for their visionary design of this architectural landmark, and to our partners at the Calgary Stampede,” said Thompson. “Our shared success today is due to all our consultants’ and contractors’ unwavering commitment and pride of work over the past four years.”

With over two million construction hours and contributions from nearly 5,000 tradespeople, including demolition crews, steelworkers, drywall installers, and electrical and mechanical teams, officials say the BMO Centre expansion stands as a testament to collaborative effort and commitment to excellence. At more than 565,000 square feet of new space, 10,000 metric tonnes of steel, and 2.4 million square feet of drywall, the expanded BMO Centre is now Western Canada’s largest convention centre.

A rendering shows the design of the BMO Centre expansion in Calgary. – Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

“The BMO Centre expansion project has been years in the making for the Calgary Stampede, from first questioning ‘Should we expand?’ to considering ‘What would an expansion look like?’ to then involving our development partners in making it happen. To reach this substantial completion milestone is monumental, as our team will now work to operationalize the building in preparation of welcoming the world to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park in just under 90 days,” said Joel Cowley, Calgary Stampede CEO. “The impact that the expanded BMO Centre will have on the Calgary Stampede and on Calgary’s tourism, convention and hospitality sector cannot be overstated. We have already seen great interest in the expanded BMO Centre and now have more than 100 incremental events booked through 2030.”

In preparation for its operation as a 1-million-plus-square-foot facility, the Calgary Stampede team will soon begin loading in furniture, dishes, cutlery, and catering equipment to the tune of 6,500 stacking chairs, 600 round banquet tables, 500 rectangular tables, 7,680 table forks and knives, and 6,200 dinner plates.

With the opening of the BMO Centre expansion, Calgary will now have a Tier 1 Convention centre, which allows the city to compete for larger meetings and convention business.

The $500-million expansion – funded in equal parts by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and The City of Calgary – will more than double the centre’s capacity for conferences, meetings and events. Across the expansion and existing facilities, the BMO Centre will be able to host up to 33,000 guests at once.

The expanded BMO Centre will host its first event – the Global Energy Show – in June 2024.

A rendering shows the design of the BMO Centre expansion in Calgary. – Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Key Takeaways:

  • Crews are expected to break ground this spring.
  • Ledcor was chosen from a group of four submissions.
  • The Government of Alberta is providing $125 million for the project as announced as part of the 2023 Capital Budget.

The Whole Story:

Ledcor has chosen to build MacEwan University’s new School of Business building. 

The facility will be a seven-storey, 376,700-square foot building at 109 Street and 105 Avenue. It will contain 30 classrooms, a simulated trading floor, 20 collaboration spaces and 15 study spaces. When completed, the building will accommodate an additional 7,500 students.

“Ledcor’s proposal was chosen from a group of four outstanding submissions – we acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and creativity in all the proposals,” said school officials.

Construction on the building at the vacant lot site will begin this spring.

The Government of Alberta is providing $125 million for the project as announced as part of the 2023 Capital Budget. Total estimated cost is $190 million. 

“Like MacEwan, Ledcor is an organization firmly rooted in community, built on a foundation of collaboration and innovation,” said school officials. “We are looking forward to working together on the construction of the building, which will provide learning spaces for 7,500 new students when it opens its doors in 2027.”

Targeting LEED Gold, the building will incorporate a high-efficiency mechanical and electrical system, solar photovoltaic panels to convert thermal energy into electricity, and a high-performing exterior that includes vertical solar shading fins for temperature regulation.

The facility will also feature a ground floor café, a multi-level central atrium providing a variety of collaborating and gathering areas for learning, and upper floors with classrooms to support an exceptional teaching environment, offices, and spaces primed for future growth.

Key Takeaways:

  • The team includes Ledcor, Dragados Canada and SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies.
  • The contract includes designing, building and financing the elevated guideway and associated roadworks, utilities and active transportation elements of the project.
  • The team is set to begin some early works to prepare for major construction, including geotechnical investigations, locating utilities and clearing vegetation.

The Whole Story:

B.C. has selected a preferred proponent team to design, build and finance the elevated guideway and associated roadworks, utilities and active transportation elements of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain.

The preferred proponent team selected to enter final contract negotiations with the Province is SkyLink Guideway Partners (SLGP), which is comprised of Dragados Canada, Inc., Ledcor Investments Inc., Ledcor Mining Ltd. and SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies Inc.

As the province enters final contract negotiations with the preferred proponent, the team will start some early works to prepare for major construction, including geotechnical investigations, locating utilities and clearing vegetation.

The province says it is working closely with the proponent and local governments to plan the work, and impacts to the public are expected to be minimal during this stage.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is a 16-kilometre extension of the Expo Line from King George Station to Langley City Centre, the first rapid transit expansion south of the Fraser River in 30 years.

Once complete, the project will provide transportation for people in Surrey, Langley and throughout Metro Vancouver. Major construction on the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is expected to begin this year.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project is being delivered through three separate contracts. Requests for proposals (RFPs) for all three phases were issued in early 2023.

In addition to the elevated guideway and associated roadworks, utilities and active transportation elements, the province continues evaluations and discussions for the design and construction of eight new stations, including active transportation elements, such as cycling and walking paths around the new stations, as well as for the design, installation and testing of electrical systems.

Formal contract award announcements are anticipated in the coming months.

A map shows the new SkyTrain project’s route. – Province of B.C.