Client: City of Ottawa
Location: Ottawa
Size: 2,000 ha

As climate change continues to affect the intensity and destructive impacts of storm events, a renewed focus on the capacity and operational conditions of our urban drainage systems is essential. Graham Creek, in the City of Ottawa (City), conveys flow from a 2000 ha area through residential neighborhoods in the City. A risk-based design approach was implemented for the renewal of major conveyance structures along the watercourse. Recognizing that proactive rehabilitation of these critical culvert sections was a priority to address the potential of more frequent climate events, the City engaged JLR to carry out the preliminary and detailed design, tendering, and contract administration for the renewal work. A trenchless solution was informed by comprehensive investigations to establish existing conditions: LiDAR scans to confirm interior dimensions and alignment; flow monitoring and hydraulic modelling to assess performance of the system during defined climate change events and to confirm/predict creek flows to be managed during construction; and subsurface investigations to identify challenging geotechnical and hydrogeological conditions. The magnitude and complexity of the work, carried out in close proximity to building foundations and through heavily wooded backyards in a mature residential area presented a significant design and communications challenge.

The City’s central project objective was to develop a design and secure municipal, provincial, and federal approvals that allowed for timely, proactive replacement of this major critical infrastructure while minimizing the associated risk of damage to nearby homes and extensive disruption to private property and the community as a whole. Innovative design solutions and a collaborative approach to project execution mitigated risk and reduced costs. The drainage upgrades realized by this project will improve the creek system’s resiliency to climate change events. Furthermore, the trenchless design and construction approach developed by JLR promotes sustainability by minimizing excavation, excess soils generation and the need for imported engineered fill, and reduces impacts to the natural, social, and economic environment. The significant reduction in excavation work shortened the construction duration and minimized the use of heavy equipment, thereby dramatically reducing the project’s carbon footprint and the impacts on the community.

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