Planning for development of the City’s southwest quadrant began in the early 2000s. The area is typically referred to as the “Waverley West” neighbourhoods. At full build out, it is anticipated that the area will be home to over 40,000 people, which is close to the population of Brandon, Manitoba.
This complex, multidisciplinary project had unique design aspects that were considered in the delivery of this project. The tri-level government-funded project was split into three parts in order to quickly get key pieces of infrastructure built first and to stage design and construction such that the schedule could be met.
The WWARP as a whole comprises over 40 lane-kilometres of high speed roadway connecting Kenaston to P.T.H. 100, including a 105 m overpass structure. A flyover video of the project area can be found here.
Design components included the following:
- Active Transportation Facilities
- Coordination of Utility Relocations
- Geometric Design of Roadways and the Overpass Structure
- Pavement Design and Life Cycle Cost Analysis
- Public Consultation and Community Connection
- Noise Assessment Study
- Risk Management
- Structural Design of the Overpass, including innovative use of Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls
- Traffic Operational Study
- Value Engineering and Safety Audits
The WWARP design team took into consideration the developer’s vision of the community, which included a “town centre” intended to be the focal point for the neighbourhood, providing shopping, active living, multi-family and family services, all within walking distance of home. Active transportation paths were constructed along the arterial and meld seamlessly into neighbourhood pathways, providing opportunities for both recreational and commuter cycling.
To optimize condensed final design time-frames and construction scheduling, the work items for this $46M project were divided and tendered under four contracts. Universal design elements were incorporated to be inclusive of those with mobility, vision or hearing impairments including detectable tiles at intersection crossings, dissimilar materials at path edges to guide visually impaired and wide multi-use paths more than adequate for two wheelchairs abreast.
Contract 1 provided a full four-lane facility from Bishop Grandin south to South Town Road and ultimately to the border between the Bridgwater and South Pointe neighbourhoods. A traffic operational study was undertaken for the entire WWARP area and analysis was used to determine storage lane lengths, which were optimized geometrically based on site conditions. Geometrically, the roadway (and street lighting) was designed for easy expansion towards the “middle,” so that intersection reconfiguration is minimized and cost optimized.
Kenaston Overpass is the first grade-separated structure, not involving a water or railway, constructed in Winnipeg in over 20 years consisting of a two-lane bridge structure and ramp lanes that connect southbound Kenaston to eastbound Bishop Grandin. With the re-alignment of the through-lane over the bridge, modifications and improvements at the Kenaston and Bishop Grandin at-grade intersection were also completed.
Residents in the long established Whyte Ridge neighbourhood and even the new Bridgwater Forest neighbourhood backing onto Kenaston and Bishop Grandin respectively, were concerned about noise and light pollution from the project. A modelling analysis was undertaken to determine the impact of the new ramp and overpass geometry to see if noise mitigation measures would be required. Design features such as the concrete barrier being carried down the embankment were not required, but were seen as value added to the public and other third parties.
A mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall was chosen for its aesthetic appeal and modular construction. MSE walls are relatively new to Manitoba and the Kenaston Overpass is one of the largest applications in Manitoba to date. The MSE walls are single-stage retaining walls made of precast concrete panels, forming the face of the walls and galvanized steel soil reinforcing strips anchoring the panels into and reinforcing the backfill. Assembly and backfilling operations and materials were highly monitored and controlled to maintain the MSE wall’s 100-year service life. An aesthetic treatment, inspired by the Aurora Borealis, was imprinted on the faces of the embankment walls.
A time-lapse video of the Kenaston Boulevard overpass can be found here.
While Contract 3 was the most straightforward section constructed, with ~2 km in length of four-lane rural roadway. Many City of Winnipeg streets, which are usually urban in nature with curbs, also contain sub-drains running parallel with the roadway under the subgrade. Since we had the benefit of a rural cross-section in Contract 3, it was decided that we could eliminate the sub-drains and simply drain the road structure to the adjacent ditches by the use of a 1 m wide “french drain” every 50 m., providing a simple, yet effective improvement that should extend the life of the pavement.
Another feature used notably at the Waverley Street (Waverley) intersection, is a “smart channel.” Smart channels are an improvement in that the angle for the yielding driver allows them to “look left” with less strain, but slows them further than a typical channel due to the acute geometry. This is safer for pedestrians and prepares the driver to exit the high speed facility (Kenaston) and enter the lower speed facility (Waverley).
Contract 4 involved the final 500 m in length of Kenaston, the connection of Kenaston to P.T.H. 100 and the disconnection of the north leg of Waverley from P.T.H. 100. Construction staging was complex. Even though the Kenaston extension was not open to the public, the south Perimeter Highway carries thousands of vehicles a day and was seeing construction in the adjacent Pembina Highway interchange.
Through the risk analysis for the project, the construction of the traffic signal infrastructure by MIT and street lighting by Manitoba Hydro, were flagged as areas where co-ordination and timing would be an issue.
Accommodation of active transportation (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) was a project factor and careful consideration was made when designing the active transportation paths in this area. Pathways running parallel to the northbound and southbound one way pairs of Kenaston are the backbone of the network, with connections into the neighbourhoods not only at the cross-streets of North Town, Bison and South Town, but at mid-block points as well. The network creates a viable means of commuting by cycling into Winnipeg. This project has the distinction of completing the over
11 km long Bishop Grandin Greenway, allowing active users to travel from southeast to southwest Winnipeg on their own separated facility.
This project won a 2015 Award of Excellence from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Manitoba. The Kenaston Flyover Bridge was recognized with a Regional Steel Design Award by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction in 2017.