Austin-based pavement engineering firm The Transtec Group provided pavement design and life cycle advisement to Plenary Roads Winnipeg, the concessionaire for the Southwest Rapid Transitway (Stage 2) project in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The project is a public-private-partnership (P3), and received joint public funding from the P3 Canada Fund, the Province of Manitoba, and the City of Winnipeg.
According to the City of Winnipeg, the Southwest Rapid Transitway has been designated as one of the highest priority projects as part of the Transportation Master Plan to address projected population growth. The completed transitway will connect downtown with the Southwest sector and the University of Manitoba, and will allow city transit to bypass heavy traffic on Pembina Highway.
The Transtec Group served as the pavement life cycle advisor on Stage 2 of the project, which includes a 7.6 km exclusive transitway constructed within dedicated rights of way. The firm has previous expertise with a similar project for the Port Authority of Pittsburgh / Allegheny County, when it delivered an innovative pavement design and rehabilitation plan for the badly damaged Pittsburgh Busway.
Because of the cold climate in Winnipeg, the ground is subject to significant freeze-thaw cycles, causing pavement profile deformation. Transtec provided guidance in the operations and maintenance strategy.
“We had to be very meticulous in our evaluation to ensure the material selection and maintenance plan for the roadway will hold up to the elements,” said Dan Dawood, Director of Business Development & Engineering for The Transtec Group. “Typical assessments may have over-estimated the maintenance needed, leading to higher costs and a less than optimal maintenance and operations strategy. Our experience with creative thinking in regards to pavement design means we used data to help determine the optimal diamond grinding frequency needed to achieve the desired pavement surface profile to save budget while ensuring safety and longevity.”
In addition to design and life cycle costing, the firm analyzed risk and created a 30-year maintenance plan for Plenary Roads Winnipeg that met final handback requirements for a safe, long-lasting transitway. Construction began in late summer 2016, with expected completion in late 2019.