When the dream was taking hold to design and build a 44,000-square-foot Skatepark at The Forks in Winnipeg, the client delivered clear marching orders: the park was to be constructed by PCL, it was to be “World Class”, and it was to be open for Canada Day 2006.
The Forks Skatepark was at first shown as a slab-on-grade, as was typical for skateboard facilities in other parts of the country. Familiar with the local shifting soil, however, PCL knew that a slab-on-grade design would not hold up well over time. Through consultation with the client, PCL reworked the entire 44,000-square-foot park as a piled concrete structure. The new design incorporated 201 precast driven piles; many hundreds of meters of grade beam; 44,000 square feet of voidform; and reinforcing steel.
The client was elated with the design and confident in the structure, so PCL forged ahead with almost three times the originally planned workforce. The Forks Skatepark opened on schedule to a crowd of 50,000 spectators in a magnificent Canada Day celebration, complete with fireworks and celebrity skateboard professionals. When the owner took the stage to deliver a speech on the afternoon of that opening day, it was clear that the project team had exceeded expectations.