The Bonaventure project started with the need to refresh an important entryway into the city of Montreal by replacing the existing Bonaventure elevated expressway built in 1966 by a ground-level urban boulevard called Robert-Bourassa Boulevard. The part of the highway is owned by city of Montreal between Lachine Canal and Notre-Dame street.
The project was designed under three main themes: create a prestigious, functional, and friendly downtown entrance to help reconnect the surrounding neighborhood and support urban redevelopment through strategic public interventions (projetbonaventure.ca). With the existing Bonaventure highway being an important access way in Montreal, the construction needed to cause the least amount of inconvenience possible, especially to traffic.
Reinforced Earth Company Ltd. (RECo) was retained to design and supply Retaining Soil Systems (RSS) retaining walls for an important part of the infrastructure work which was the construction of ramp to Duke and Nazareth Street. The redevelopment of these streets in urban streets included the addition of trees and wide sidewalk. Reinforced Earth TerraPlus® systems with large precast concrete panels (3,0 m X 1,5 m) was used for this project where a very specific and unique architectural feature has been added on panels. Many bulge lines on each panel needed to join each other requiring a very high level of precision in the design and production of precast panels. The panels were painted afterward to create the expected effect.
The wall construction needed to be made simultaneously with the existing structure still in service to be able to reduce the impact on traffic. The crash barrier was installed on top of Reinforced Earth walls and crash load considerations needed to be included in the design.
The project that began in 2011 was completed in 2017 with the urban landscaping after the demolition of the elevated structure. RECo supplied the Reinforced Earth walls in 2 stages in 2015 (Duke Street) and 2016 (Nazareth Street).