Highway 407 East Expansion – Geomorphology and Channel Design
GREATER TORONTO AREA, ONTARIO
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The Province of Ontario is trying to facilitate the economic development of the Durham region and its municipalities through building highway and transit infrastructure to provide transportation links to communities in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
Matrix was asked to complete detailed channel realignment and crossing designs for more than 40 sites in support of the Highway 407 expansion project. The scale of the designs varied from minor realignments based on bridge structure configuration to channel realignments kilometres in length. Hydraulic modelling , including scour calculations, was used to ensure proper channel design at crossing structures.
Various techniques were required to ensure the best design for each unique site. Techniques included:
- Bioengineering was used to establish new channel dimensions.
- Harvested sod blocks and fabric encapsulated fill were used in low-energy systems, primarily employing native grass vegetation for stability of the new channel banks.
- Brush layering was applied at many areas prone to erosion on the outer banks.
- For high risk areas located near infrastructure, vegetated rip-rap was used to provide additional stability.
- A customized fish passageway was used.
Matrix has been closely integrated into the design and construction process as a reliable partner across disciplines. Phase 1 of the project has been completed, and the highway opened to traffic on Monday, June 20, 2016. Phase 2 work is ongoing.
We routinely lead characterization of stream morphology to:
- Assess fluvial erosion hazards
- Develop alternatives for erosion control in environmental assessments
- Develop management strategies as part of land use planning (subwatershed, secondary, tertiary plans and site plans)
- Assist in culvert/bridge design
- Define erosion thresholds to inform stormwater management