The Brief

Broad understanding can improve any water management design. We teamed with the Region of Halton to design an interconnected water main that would link municipalities, and open up potential for additional future growth.

Project Overview

Holistic planning for a connected future

A holistic approach to water management tees municipalities up for long-term success. When approved growth areas required the Region of Halton to create additional water capacity and improve supply security, leadership set out to create a connected infrastructure plan designed with tomorrow in mind. Our team was retained to design the interconnecting water main that would link multiple municipalities in Halton. We also administered all of the related contracts.

Linking community water supplies successfully begins by understanding how the region itself is transforming. As we dove into the design phase, we instantly understood: this area was characterized by a host of different complexities. The CN Rail lines traverse these growing neighbourhoods and towns. The Bronte Creek cuts across the territory. True, too, for the Fourteen Mile Creek Tributaries. Each of these factors created a unique set of constraints to be accounted for within our designs, and the ultimate execution of the project.

Fulsome communication with Conservation Halton, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks, and the Burlington Heritage Planner surfaced rich insight and knowledge. This helped us think creatively, and develop solutions that worked with the challenging terrain, not against it. Micro-tunnelling allowed us to navigate the CN Rail line crossing best. And, a 200 m concrete utility bridge (supported by the piers of a former highway bridge built in the early 1900s) was conceived, enabling the water main to cross the Bronte Creek Valley. This approach would have the least impact on the environment, while enabling the Region to avoid any potential future conflicts during the expansion of the existing road bridge. The environmental focus was also part of our decision to use concrete. We went against traditional practices of building a water main below ground to adapt surrounding features and structures—the most environmentally conscious way forward.

Now, three municipalities—as well as the Halton Hills 401 corridor—are served by a leading-edge water main, built within an arterial corridor at the north end of Burlington and Oakville. This highly efficient infrastructure stretches 4 km between cities, facilitating the movement of water from one hub to the next. All of this positions the Region to capitalize on growth, while remaining confident that water can be safely and reliably provided. Therein lies the power of designing holistically, with big-picture understanding as a foundation for sustainable, long-term growth.