Parsonshas announced that its West Toronto Diamond (WTD) Rail-Rail Grade Separation project won the 2016 Canadian Consulting Engineering (CCE) Award of Excellence in the transportation category at the CCE Awards Gala on October 25. The awards recognize consulting engineering firms and their projects in terms of high quality, innovation, and technical excellence.
The CCE Awards jury commented, “The project’s team found a unique technical solution to improve the performance of a 103-year-old infrastructure…The project shows a remarkable understanding of the strategic significance of rail and public transit in our communities.”
Parsons provided detailed design and engineering services during construction for the new 1-km‑long rail underpass separating commuter rail tracks from freight train tracks at “The Junction,” one of Canada’s busiest rail crossings. Using accelerated bridge construction (ABC), four railway bridges were built site‑adjacent and slid laterally into place during four short‑duration track closures.
“Completing this project amidst four operating railways, an existing public grade crossing, a connecting track between two railways, and an additional connecting track over Metrolinx rail lines was challenging,” said Michael Johnson, Parsons Group president. “Parsons brought its ingenuity and experience to the challenge and delivered a quality project in a compressed timeframe with minimal impacts to train traffic and site-adjacent homes and industrial buildings. We’re proud of what we accomplished for our client Metrolinx and honored to receive this prestigious national award.”
In addition to implementing ABC construction, Parsons accelerated project completion by incorporating full‑depth, precast deck slab elements—transversely connected by post-tensioning—and foundations consisting of a unique interlocking steel pipe pile wall system. Construction also involved zero vibration silent piling, reducing noise and risk to nearby sensitive buildings, services, and utilities. The WTD Rail-Rail Grade Separation project not only reduced the train traffic bottleneck at “The Junction,” it also created capacity for Metrolinx to add passenger train and Union-Pearson (UP) Express airport train service before the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
The 2016 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards—jointly presented by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada (ACEC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine—honored 20 projects across Canada from the 77 projects that were submitted. Parsons’ WTD Rail-Rail Grade Separation project is featured on pages 53–54 of the October-November 2016 issue of Canadian Consulting Engineer, a bi-monthly magazine for engineers in the construction industry.