TAC presents its awards of excellence 01 Oct 2015

TunnelTalk reporting

Brian Garrod, the Toronto York Spadina subway extension and the Mayo B Hydroelectric Enhancement Project are the category winners of the Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) 2015 Awards.

The annual awards ceremony, that closed out the TAC-organized one-and-a-half-day workshop entitled Challenges and Innovations in Tunnelling, recognizes individuals for a lifetime of achievement in the underground construction field, as well as projects that deliver innovative planning, design and development. The event took place on Monday, October 6, at Queens University Kingston in Ontario.

For the 2015 Major Infrastructure Project of the Year in Canada, the judging panel selected the Can$2.6 billion 8.6km Toronto York Spadina subway extension that is due to open in 2017. As the largest capital project ever undertaken by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the extension features 6.8km of bored twin tunnels, including a technically challenging 280m section of triple tube tunnels that witnessed the first use in Canada of SEM excavation in soft ground. The use of guide rods during the segment erection process was an additional example of project innovation to significantly improve ring build quality as well as productivity.

Design of the main running tunnels was carried out by Hatch Mott Macdonald as principal consultant, with Golder Associates as lead geotechnical consultant. Construction of the south tunnels was completed by the McNally/Kiewit/AECON JV, with the north tunnels contract completed by the OHL/FCC partnership. The EPBMs used to drive the tunnels were owner-procured from Caterpillar to maintain project schedule.

The Innovative Project of the Year for 2015 is the Mayo B Hydroelectric Enhancement Project in the vast Yukon wilderness region of Canada. Project scope called for construction of two new downstream powerhouses and a 300m long intake tunnel to increase hydro electricity capacity generated from the original 1950s installation located further upstream.

Despite the challenges of working in a sub-Arctic climate, and in a highly remote location, the project was delivered on time and on budget by a team comprising owner Yukon Energy with KGS Group as engineer, Kiewit Infrastructure as lead contractor, and Procon Mining and Tunneling for excavation of the SEM tunnel. Golder Associates served as tunnel construction engineer with Boro Lukajic & Associates as special consultant.

For its prestigious Tunneller of the Year accolade, Brian Garrod is honoured in 2015 for his 34 years of achievement in the underground construction industry. Starting out his engineering career in the UK, Garrod has been involved in the design of major innovative infrastructure projects. In Canada he has contributed to the design of the current Eglinton Crosstown LRT project, the Spadina and Shepherd subway extensions, and the Billy Bishop Airport pedestrian tunnel in Toronto, the Vancouver and Edmonton light rail systems and the Niagara Water Diversion Tunnel in Ontario.

An active member of the Tunnelling Association of Canada, and its former President, Garrod is also an advocate and practitioner of in-house tutoring of the next generation of young underground engineers.

Education of new tunnelling engineers and professionals is an area that TAC takes seriously, and promotion of the development of talented young engineers is achieved through the annual award to a single student of the Dan Eisenstein Memorial Scholarship. This year’s award is made to Josephine Morgenroth, a BScE graduate in Geological Engineering at Queen's University. Currently in the first year of her Master's program, and working with Dr Dwayne Tannant at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Morgenroth’s field of study is rock mechanics, with a particular interest in probabilistic modelling of tunnel excavation. Her research is focused on mining historical tunnelling data and applying it to a Dynamic Bayesian Network in order to iteratively predict cost and schedule for comparable tunnel excavations.

Rounding off the awards, the Photo of the Year for 2015 was awarded to David Blackwell of Hatch Mott Macdonald for his impressive image looking into the TBM drive from the access shaft of the Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel in Vancouver, British Columbia.

With the TAC awards presented for 2015, the Association and the tunnelling industry of Canada looks forward to receiving nominations for award-winning recognition in 2016.


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