The Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track

General Motors Canada

Size: 1.6 km | Value: $18.8 | Completion: October 2020 | Location: Oshawa, ON

Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering

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% 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 treatment of runoff prior to 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 is equipped with electrical infrastructure to support Level 3 fast charging, that will charge an electrical 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 which provide a visual barrier to protect GM prototype vehicles, noise attenuation, and act as an additional safety barrier.

 

WalterFedy worked collaboratively with J.J. McGuire General Contractors in a design-build team for the construction of 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 provided general project management and quality assurance for the construction. The design was also supported by GSP Group Inc. for landscape design and natural environment restoration, SafeRoads Engineering for track safety, and 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. The majority of the works were complete in four months, by December 2019, with the exception of paving due to the winter months. The project achieved substantial completion in October 2020.

   

PROJECT PARTNERS

  • Coco paving

  • J.J. McGuire

  • State Group

  • GSP Group

  • Saferoads Engineering

  • Cambium

 

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