Prime Consultant

City of Calgary

Start: May 2019

Completion: Ongoing

Disciplines:

Transportation

Municipal

Water/Wastewater

Structural—Bridges

Landscape Architecture

Geomatics

Environmental Services

Community Engagement

17 Avenue SE Stampede Crossing LRT

Calgary, AB, Canada

In 2019, ISL – with partner WSP and GEC – was retained by CMLC to undertake construction feasibility, cost-benefit review, detailed design, and construction of the new 17 Avenue SE Stampede Crossing (17SX). This station reconstruction includes Victoria Park / Stampede Station as an at-grade station with two side loading platforms, and a level road crossing of the LRT at 17 Avenue SE. This reconstruction is exceptionally complex for a variety of reasons beginning with the need to schedule the project around the annual 10-day fair, and to accommodate the new BMO Conference Centre and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Events Centre. WSP and ISL continue to work with Calgary Transit providing detailed design, construction supervision, and owner’s engineer services. The project provides a deep understanding of constructing an LRT corridor and factors the Green Line North BRT must take into consideration as it is designed to operate during the construction of Segment 2 of Green Line LRT. The 17SX project also involves numerous utility relations and how to work with Calgary’s utility companies. The Landscape Architecture team developed the design for the public realm and planting strategy around the station interface. Working closely with Architect GEC, our team was able to coordinate precise elevation and material interfaces not only with the 17SX Station but with he surrounding BMO expansion and 17EX project. The design consist of integrated weathered steel planters that create pockets of planting and custom bench seating around the station. Detailed elements include coordinated branding, hardscape tie ins, custom bench seating built into the steel planters, and an amphitheater style bench area that interfaces with the 17EX project and Stampede public realm. The planters are designed with smooth radius’ to draw circulation logically around the space. Further to this, the planters are all designed to specific undulating heights to ensure ABC is adhered to for fall heights and to create a unique identity profile of the site. The 17SX urban design scope was complex and required detailed coordination with all consultants and fabricators to ensure the integrity of the design is withheld while ensuring the constructability is seamless. The landscape team also conducted a restoration effort adjacent to the bridge extension on the south end of the site. The restoration plans incorporate a section of the Elbow River and the pathway network in an effort to limit disturbance and increase flood prevention along the adjacent slope. Native riparian species and vegetation are proposed in conjunction with engineered solitons to ensure the slope integrity remains intact during flood events and post construction. Construction on the Station began in 2021 and is expected to complete in 2026.

Challenges

-The project started and advanced in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Timely and intensive integration with other disciplines

– Complex existing utility and infrastructure made design decisions difficult and intricate.

Solutions

-The integrated project team held a workshop to identify risks and opportunities for the project. As a result of the workshop, several items were identified that could be accelerated to ensure project timelines are met as well, impacts of COVID-19 to the supply of materials were identified and mitigation strategies were implemented.

– Constant communication was held with GEC throughout the design process to ensure that connections, design intent, materiality, functionality and interfacing was all approached holistically. Given the nature of the project and the number of disciplines working on design items at any given time, communication was key to ensuring the landscape architecture scope didn’t get lost in translation or miscommunicated.

– Early data collection of utilities within private property is crucial especially with the fast-tracked nature of the project to ensure that proposed design is not in conflict with private utilities. Significant time was spent on data coordination and analysis to make sure conflicts were limited. This also meant coordination with the 17EX teams on their scope under a different contract.