The Rapibus-Gatineau project is a portion of the larger overall Rapibus system that stretches for approximately 12 kilometers. The Rapibus project includes 2 lanes for these 12 kilometers with one lane of traffic in each direction. The projects sole purpose is for having a bus rapid transit system that provides riders with high efficient travel. The system includes 10 stations in which the Gatineau station is a prominent fixture along this route. The system connects Labrosse and Alexandre-Taché boulevards while ensuring service to the downtown areas of the Hull sector and Ottawa.
There were a few challenges with this particular project. While completing the design, a seismic value had to be accounted for as the Gatineau area generates a seismic value of a/g = 0.20. The second design constraint that had to be intricately designed for was the overall design life of the project and large surcharge anticipated. This particular project had a required design life of 120 years and a live load of 100 kPa from a Cooper 90 train, so special consideration had to be applied during the design phases. Another aspect that bound the design and geometry of the walls were the existing structures. The Rapibus system is designed along the existing rail right-of-way, which includes existing structures that encroached upon the area in which the Reinforced Earth Company Ltd. (RECo) walls were originally planned for. These existing structures were only uncovered and realized after the original design had been finished so a recalculation, design and construction/installation process had to be implemented. After adjusting the geometry of the wall all while maintaining a high aesthetic appearance and factoring in all of the new design parameters and limitations the wall was then fully fabricated, delivered and installed.
As of today the Rapibus system is up and operational, carrying passengers to and from their destinations along this 12 km, 10 station, high capacity route. As well as implementing a dedicated bike lane for passengers to enjoy a scenic bike ride from station to station that runs parallel with the RECo MSE walls.