The first component of the Port Metro Vancouver Deltaport Terminal, Road, and Rail Improvement Project (DTRRIP), the causeway overpass, reached a significant milestone with its recent completion.
DTRRIP is a series of improvements to Vancouver’s largest container terminal undertaken to increase capacity. The new overpass separates road and rail traffic, improving the flow of trucks and trains accessing the terminal, reducing truck and vehicle idling, increasing safety, and contributing an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 TEUs of additional capacity annually at Deltaport.
MMM Group Limited (MMM) provided design-build; municipal, structural, and highway engineering; and construction inspection services for the project, which included rail line and access road relocations, new ramps for the overpass, and an overpass structure, all within a very confined site.
The causeway where the overpass is located was constructed in the 1960s using sand derived from the nearby seabed placed on top of intertidal mud flats. This created difficult ground conditions that presented unique challenges for the design of an economically viable structural system in a zone of high seismicity.
As a consequence of these conditions, MMM utilized several innovative engineering design techniques to ensure that the structure was not adversely affected by potential soil liquefaction and ground settlements. One of these innovations was to support several of the spans on a concrete raft foundation slab founded within the upper-soil crust layer. This raft is designed to float on the crust while soils below potentially liquefy during an earthquake.
The $44.7 M overpass was delivered by Port Metro Vancouver with a $19.9 million funding contribution from the Government of Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is focused on enhancing the movement of goods and people between North America and Asia.