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Innovation in the Cataraqui

December 22, 2021 | Kieways 2021 Q4

In Ontario, Canada, the Cataraqui River forms the lower portion of the Rideau Canal. Completed in 1832, the Rideau is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site in 2007.

For nature lovers, boaters and those who simply crave a beautiful view, the Cataraqui River is a treasured destination. The river, which forms the lower portion of the historic Rideau Canal, draws visitors year-round.

An additional crossing over the Cataraqui, at Kingston, has been on the wish list of citizens and government agencies alike for decades. In 2018, the City of Kingston received funding to build a 1.2-kilometer two-lane bridge.

The city, together with Kiewit and designers Hatch and Systra, formed an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team to work on the long-awaited crossing. It’s the first time the IPD approach has been used for a bridge project in North America.

Pre-pandemic, the team gathered in a common space dubbed the “Big Room.” There, the partners worked shoulder-to-shoulder to plan, design and build the new bridge.

“It was definitely something new, but our team appreciated the ability to be sitting in a room with the designer and the city, and having that direct line rather than a huge chain of emails. I think it allowed for smoother constructability changes,” said Alexander Savides, project engineer.

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