One of the largest precast concrete culvert installations in Ontario will allow both man and beast to benefit as automotive traffic travels overhead while safely avoiding the wildlife traffic passing underneath.
Anchor Concrete Products Ltd., Kingston, Ontario, provided its first contribution to the Highway 407 Express Toll Route (407 ETR) extension, which involved the supply and delivery of supersized precast culverts in Whitby, Ontario. The installation included 44 sections of precast box culvert with a combined weight of more than 2,640 metric tons placed in just four days.
Culvert infrastructure has a variety of uses, including short-span bridges, underpasses, and stormwater and stream water conveyance. Anchor’s 407 ETR culverts fulfill all three of these uses. The Anchor team worked with the 407 ETR group to design a product that would meet their challenging schedule while providing a high-quality structure. The solution was an innovative, two-piece “clamshell” culvert that incorporated a cantilever joint. This allowed the contractor to place the culvert pieces using only a crane, eliminating the normal task of pulling the pieces together. This innovative design produced a very tight fit between the culvert sections and allowed a quick, user-friendly placement of the structure.
The culvert’s spacious interior, with a 2.1-meter interior height and 8-meter interior span, will allow wildlife to pass under it, a design that is popular in Alberta and British Columbia due to their large wildlife populations. These underpasses give animals a safe passageway to cross the freeway to help protect Canadian wildlife and motorists alike from potentially fatal collisions.
Contractors were able to install up to six pieces per hour, meaning that in just 10 minutes, roughly 35 metric tons of concrete were safely lifted and placed.
“This is quite an achievement for Anchor, showing that excellence in design, tight tolerances, quality control in manufacturing and shipping allowed us to place more than 1,000 (metric) tons of precast,” said Jeff Bradfield, Anchor Concrete’s president and CEO.
This culvert section is the first of three and runs 76.6 meters long and 3.5 meters high at its tallest point, making it one of the largest concrete culvert installations in Ontario, and the next culvert installation will be even bigger.