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McIntosh Perry

Highway 417 expansion highlights McIntosh Perry’s contract administration capabilities

The project essentially added two more lanes of traffic, to make three lanes in both directions, plus a high occupancy vehicle lane.

Highway 417 entering the west end of Ottawa looks considerably different these days – and McIntosh Perry played a huge role in that upgrade.

The engineering and related professional services firm successfully provided contract administration work for the expansion of Hwy. 417 from the junction of Hwy. 7 easterly to Eagleson Road. This multi-year assignment is one of the largest, high-complexity transportation infrastructure projects constructed within City of Ottawa limits.

Totalling about 10 kilometres, the project included many aspects, such as an advanced traffic management system which provides traffic cameras along Hwy. 417 from the 416 interchange out to Hwy. 7. It also incorporated superior protection of the environment, considering wildlife, species at risk and fish-bearing watercourses, as well as high ground water table and cohesionless/sensitive soils.   

Andrew MacHardy, C.E.T. rcca with McIntosh Perry, was one of two professionals to provide contract administration for the intense multi-faceted project. McIntosh Perry was awarded the job in 2011 and construction was completed at the end of 2014.

The project essentially added two more lanes of traffic, to make three lanes in both directions, plus a high occupancy vehicle lane. It also involved widening of both Carp River structures and rehabilitation of four existing structures. A large-scale structural culvert at Watts Creek was also included as the area is susceptible to storm flows.

Additionally, key components included grading, drainage, granular placement, paving, illumination, contamination assessment, and landscaping. The construction of sewers, stormwater management ponds and control of on-site groundwater all contributed to the overall project scope.

MacHardy said there were several specific challenges that he and his team were able to overcome, including traffic planning to mitigate impacts; impacts to the community and major stake holders such as the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo, Tanger Outlet Mall, Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment group and more. In addition, he said planning was needed for emergency preparedness in the event of significant accidents or accidents with environmental hazards. Lastly, the sheer amount of utilities to contend with during the significant length of roadway presented its own obstacles.

“This project involved a difficult amount of traffic and volume,” MacHardy said, noting the team worked around peak periods with most of the construction being completed at night and on weekends.

Interestingly, significant samples of sandstone were removed from an ANSI-designated outcrop to reveal fossils dating back millions of years to when the area supported a shallow marine environment. Portions of the rocks were rescued and donated to a geoheritage park, as well as several local museums.

MacHardy said he was satisfied with completing the project on time, while still being able to minimize the impacts to the community and provide a quality product. “All our staff are local and will be able to benefit from the widening in the future,” he said, noting it enhances the community. “I’m proud of the way the job turned out considering the amount of staging and external pressures we faced. Now the public is able to use the product on time.”

He said the Ottawa-based McIntosh Perry brought a lot to the job in terms of local knowledge of site conditions and community effects. “We know the impacts this will have on the community because we live here, too,” MacHardy said. “We’re sensitive to those construction impacts and we tried to make the process as smooth as possible.”

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