Built on a 55-acre lot, The Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track is a 1-mile, 4-lane, high-speed oval designed and constructed specifically to develop GM’s autonomous vehicle capabilities.
Key features of the track include variable slopes for each lane, up to a maximum of 22%, and banking around the bends to allow for high speeds on tight radii of the curves. In comparison, roadway cross slopes are typically 2-4% for a highway bend. A trackside stormwater management system collects, attenuates, and then conveys and provides preliminary runoff treatment before discharge to an existing stormwater management pond.
Our team also designed a track lighting system with a fibre communications network to run along the track; this network allows the vehicles to communicate with one another when on the track for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) testing. The track has electrical infrastructure to support Level 3 fast charging, which will charge an electric vehicle to 80% power within an hour.
During construction, poor subgrade soils were reinforced using recycled concrete generated from the removal and demolition operations necessary for the construction of the track. Excess soils, unsuitable to support the track loading, were used to construct berms around the facility, providing a visual barrier to protect GM prototype vehicles, noise attenuation, and acting as an additional safety barrier.
WalterFedy worked collaboratively with J.J. McGuire General Contractors in a design-build team to construct the track. The design team consisted of WalterFedy’s civil, electrical and structural engineering teams, who provided design and inspection services for the high-speed track, stormwater management features, erosion control measures, trackside power, communications and lighting infrastructure, and general project management and quality assurance for the construction. GSP Group Inc. also supported the design for landscape design and natural environment restoration, SafeRoads Engineering for track safety, Cambium Inc. for geotechnical and hydrogeological matters and JD Barnes for survey. GM retained the expertise of GHD Limited to provide preliminary geotechnical information and natural environment characterization.
The project had a quick turnaround starting in September 2019. Most of the works were completed in four months, by December 2019, except for paving due to the winter months. The project achieved substantial completion in October 2020.