Not so long ago, the arrival of
spring in Quebec meant the appearance of potholes, which is the ultimate stage
of disintegration of oil-coated pavement.
The climate changes of recent years,
which have led to unprecedented temperature rises and falls, regardless of the
season, have a steady and direct impact on road infrastructures.
As climate environment never ceases
to change, designers need to adapt their analyses and preparation in their
construction or renovation projects of our territory’s roads and highways.
But that element is only one of many
factors to consider in the preparation of such projects, in order to ensure
that the projected costs and deadlines are justified and respected.
THE CASE OF THE TURCOT COMPLEX
On April 25, 1967, the Turcot
Interchange was inaugurated after two years of work at a cost of $24.5 million.
In 2007, only 40 years later, it was
announced that the road complex would have to get rebuilt, this time at a cost
of $3.67 billion.
Work began in 2011. And the final,
five-year phase, known as ‘design-build’ (turnkey), is due to be completed in
2020, two years beyond the original deadline.
The unforeseen events that caused
the delay cost $300 million, a sum that was already factored into the total
cost of the project, and that was sitting in a contingency fund.
The development of roads and
highways clearly is no exception to the standard of other areas of
infrastructure construction. Some contractors favor the concept of solving
problems as they come along, rather than going by the proverb: ‘Prevention is
better than cure’. This with the ultimate goal of being the lowest bidder and
obtaining the contract…
This approach is so engrained into
the construction culture that budgets actually include paragraphs and sums of
money specifically dedicated to cover the additional expenses caused by
unforeseen incidents and, consequently, delays in deadlines.
The said approach could then be
replaced by a more structured method, right from the analysis phase of the
project, which would also eliminate cost and time overruns.
AND NOW, THE ‘MET’…
As in all major cities around the
world, Montreal’s road infrastructure is aging and sometimes needs to undergo
major alterations to meet the requirements of urban transportation and to
measure up to Québec’s climate.
It is also for the sake of the
economy, not only of the city but of the whole province.
Sixty years after its construction,
the Metropolitan Highway will thus undergo modernization and renovation over
the current decade.
The paving work, which began in
September 2019, is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.
But amidst this renovation, there
will be major works on the eastern section of the highway, beginning with its
elevated section, that is between St. Laurent and (Eastbound) Provencher
On January 10, 2020, Québec’s
Ministry of Transportation launched the tender for plans and quotes for these
This is an opportunity for the
government and contractors to go about a major new project with a different
A thoughtful and more in-depth
approach, based on an ‘upstream’ analysis of the work to be carried out, while
taking into account technical, budgetary and time constraints.
The objective would be to avoid
budget overspending and deadline overrun.
THE SOCANIN WAY
The SOCANIN method is fully in line
with this approach, which aims at the excellence of a project from start to
From the analysis of the project to
its planning and the operational assistance of the works to the end of the
term, everything is done in a clear, rigorous and structured manner.
The avenue that is offered to
SOCANIN clients is one of transparency and of the materialization of their
projects with an ideal partner.