Amin Hammad, a professor in Concordia’s Institute for Information Systems Engineering and the study’s senior author, explains that scheduling reconstruction work demands a high level of coordination between different work flows.
“Any delay in the work on one segment might impact the work on another, which ultimately results in delaying the whole project and augmenting the cost,” he says. “The simulation methods we’ve developed help contractors analyze the schedule and eliminate the risks.”
A four-dimensional approach
Reconstructing heavily used highways like the Turcot — the biggest road construction project in the history of Quebec, with an estimated budget of about $4 billion — is an extremely complex process because of the need to maintain traffic flow.
Demolishing the existing interchange and then replacing it is not an option. Instead, a plan is required to gradually shift the traffic from the existing segments to the newly built ones.
“This parallel coordination of construction and demolition activities with traffic flow is essential to the success of these projects,” says Hammad. “That’s why our new modelling method uses a 4-D approach — taking into account the three normal space axes, plus time, to coordinate the traffic phasing with the demolition and construction of the old and new segments, respectively.”