Projects, Projects, Projects.

February 6, 2020

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Written by: Paul Eichinger

Barbara Arp is the Records Manager here at MTE and it is Barbara’s job is to ensure that all projects undertaken by MTE are properly opened, filed, organized and recorded. She provides guidance (and a firm hand) to MTE’s 80 Project Managers to ensure consistency and accuracy in our record keeping system. Recently, Barbara informed us that MTE opened its 35,000th project on January 17, 2020 … very fitting since this is MTE’s 35th year in business. Our very first project back in 1985 was the civil engineering design for a 14-lot subdivision in Guelph, Ontario, and the 35,000th is an asbestos assessment update for an apartment building in Edmonton, Alberta.

The majority of MTE’s projects are in Ontario, but on occasion we work out of province and within the United States. The apartment building in Edmonton is part of our client’s national real estate portfolio, and we’ll be undertaking asbestos assessment updates on approximately 45 of their properties across Canada.

Our engineering work is usually behind walls, underground, in the water … out of sight. Yet I am constantly amazed at the cool projects we work on. In the past few weeks, several different projects we are working on were featured in local news outlets. These projects are newsworthy from a public interest standpoint, but what’s even more newsworthy (in my humble opinion) is the behind-the-scenes work we are doing.

For one, the Region of Waterloo is planning a $50-million transit hub in downtown Kitchener. The architectural rendering in the newspapers show an exciting, transformative project. Our behind-the-scenes work thus far has included assessing the environmental conditions of several properties that will be transformed. For over 100 years these properties have been home to varying industries, all of which have left an environmental footprint. Our team’s job was to record and analyze close to 200 soil and water samples, and provide recommendations to ensure that future development can proceed safely.

What’s more, the City of Kitchener is reconstructing Carl Zehr Square in front of their City Hall.  This square includes a much-used outdoor skating rink (a water feature in the summer) and large open spaces used for events all-year-round. Reconstruction is necessary due to the age of the infrastructure, and our team is designing the grading (how much slope?), drainage (where does the water go when it rains?) and servicing (how big is the water pipe that feeds the water feature?). Additionally, a highly challenging part of the project is that the public square / water feature / ice rink all sits on top of a parking garage. Our building restoration engineers are designing the repairs required on the existing concrete structure and granite cladding panels, as well as the new membrane waterproofing solution to protect the garage from future leaks and deterioration.

Cool engineering – things that people may not notice, but that’s okay, because if they would that means something may be going wrong.

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