Regina Bypass – Largest Infrastructure Project In SK History
The Project Director for the Regina Bypass Design Builders Partnership has traveled across an ocean and half a continent to bring his expertise to the largest infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history.
Alisdair Dickinson’s experiences in his homeland of the UK bring a wealth of knowledge from some of the largest infrastructure projects that have occurred in recent history across the pond.
This included working on connecting one of the engineering marvels of the modern era, the Channel Tunnel (a high-speed train line built under the English Channel), to the centre of London with a train line.
“I worked on a number of projects in the UK including the second phase of the Channel Tunnel, the ‘O’ line. It wasn’t the Channel Tunnel itself, it was all of the ground works to bring the trains to the centre of London. We had a lot of roadway construction close to residential areas, close to stakeholders. That project was a design build project as well, there was a lot of similarities with this project,” Alisdair explained.
To accomplish any infrastructure project, it is necessary to work with all of the stakeholders. Working on projects in the UK had its own unique challenges, given the high density of population, historic buildings, and the possibility of archeological ruins.
“I also worked on a project in Edinburgh, Scotland, a trams project which was the installation of a tram network through the centre of Edinburgh,” said Alisdair. “This was an especially large project and I was also involved in construction and historical content. There was a lot of stakeholder considerations, the historical designations, sensitivities along with public attentions as well.”
He currently works for Graham Infrastructure LP. Graham is one of four companies who are a partner in the Design Build process, along with Carmacks Enterprises, Parsons Canada Ltd. And VINCI Construction Terrassement.
“I was involved in the pursuit of the project from September of last year, so I have been involved in the bypass project for over a year now. I am a civil engineer by profession and I moved to Canada with my family four years ago from the UK as Graham had sponsored me to come over. I came to help Graham on some of these large projects. Most of my experience in the UK has been on projects equivalent to this P3 project. It is quite an exciting challenge to get involved from that point of view.”
Currently, a lot of the work on the project is the behind-the-scene engineering design and the supply chain planning necessary to support the project once spring 2016 arrives, at which time they can go full speed on the build itself.
“We have about 70 management staff on the ground already. In the first two months here, we’ve managed to mobilize quite a few people. We’ve recruited a number of people from within Regina. We have about 100 designers working on the project which includes people from Clifton, Urban Systems, McElhanney. In terms of labour and operators, we’ll start to ramp up quickly here and when spring comes, we will peak at around 200 to 300 people through this year until 2017,” he said.
Though the major focus during the first phase will be the east section, including overpasses at White City and Balgonie, expect to see work all over the city.
“We are not doing the east side, finishing it, and then moving over to the west side. We are starting everywhere at the same time, but the focus is to deliver the east side earlier. By the time we get to this time next year, we will be working in all areas of the project but have an earlier delivery time for that section (East Bypass),” he said.
To support the project, there will be a number of services that the Partnership will be looking for local providers to assist with. Some examples given were food services and cleaning services to support the many mobile offices that will dot the city during the Design Build phase of the project.
There will be a new highway 1 south service road giving Emerald Park White City residents a direct connection to Regina without turning left onto the #1 highway, for ease of service for those traveling this route in addition to the reduced speed limit of 80 km/h between Regina and Balgonie during the build phase.