The $195 million design-build-finance-maintain (DBFM) Disraeli Bridges carry more than 42,000 daily commuters, who use the Disraeli Freeway corridor to travel between the northeast quadrant of Winnipeg and the downtown core. The project included the construction of approximately two kilometers of a major urban arterial roadway, replacement of an eleven-span overpass across the Canadian Pacific main line and a nine-span bridge over the Red River, as well as the addition of a pedestrian bridge.
The Disraeli Bridges in Winnipeg, MB. The bridges
are traveled by more than 15 million commuters
The new span easily accommodates both
pedestrian and vehicular traffic along this critical
Eliminating Commuter Impact with Phased Construction
The original DBFM request for proposals specified a complete corridor closure for 16 months. The shortlisted proponents were asked to provide a traffic management plan for the construction phase. PCL’s plan called for phased construction of the new bridges to eliminate any shutdown or change to existing traffic service during business hours. The new bridges were built one half at a time, allowing traffic to shift to the new bridge and preserving the required number of available lanes at all times. By choosing a geometric alignment of the corridor, the team was able to minimize the property acquisition required and to accommodate future expansion.
“PCL demonstrated sound and effective leadership in leading the design-build team on this challenging and complex plan to reconstruct a major arterial route with minimal disruption to traffic,” said Brad Neirinck, Bridge Planning and Operations Engineer for the City of Winnipeg. “Their attention to quality, schedule, and meeting project needs was exceptional.”
Construction Innovation Resolves Rising Water Levels
The city of Winnipeg is centered at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. The Red River Valley watershed extends for more than 100,000 square kilometers, and is, for the most part, collected by these two rivers. Consequently, in Winnipeg, river crossings are undertaken in the winter when the watershed is frozen because in the spring the Red River can rise up to eight meters higher than winter ice levels.
Originally, the PCL project team planned to construct the bridge piers and erect the steel superstructure from temporary rock berm work platforms in the river. However, unseasonably mild winter temperatures caused the river to rise four meters higher than normal. A revised construction plan incorporated the use of a floating work platform instead of rock berms, and the PCL project team adopted a precast concrete form system to build the piers. This innovative solution eliminated the negative impact of fluctuating water levels on construction, and allowed the project team to meet the City’s project needs without compromising quality or the schedule.