Denmark-headquartered international consulting engineer Cowi has been awarded a C$15m contract to be owner’s engineer on the project to build an eight-lane immersed road tunnel to replace the 63-year-old George Massey tunnel under the Fraser River 20km south of Vancouver in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Drawing on its experience designing the original, 629m-long George Massey tunnel that opened in 1959, Cowi will conceptualise and oversee removal of the old four-lane tunnel and construction of its eight-lane replacement. The tunnel forms part of Highway 99, which runs southeast to the US border.
The new tunnel will have three general purpose traffic lanes and one dedicated bus lane in each direction, as well as a bi-directional multi-use cycle path/pedestrian walkway to improve travel across the river without restricting navigable space for marine traffic.
Cowi will provide the reference concepts and geotechnical underpinning for the C$4.15bn crossing. It will use expertise from its offices around the world to create flood control systems that can withstand extreme river flows and higher sea levels.
Cowi’s immersed-tunnel credentials include designing the world’s longest immersed tunnel for motorists in China and the first immersed tunnel designed against typhoon waves in South Korea.
Darryl Matson, senior project director for the project at Cowi in North Vancouver said: “It’s projects like these that light up the engineer inside each of us. We are very passionate about this project as it lies in the backyard of our local team – we use it frequently so we know what a difference we can make to the community.”
Joining Cowi on the owner’s engineering team will be experts from highway/civil, environmental, hydraulics, communication, marine navigation and construction, and archaeology.