Rue de la Gauchetière


Rue de la Gauchetière is a street in downtown Montreal, Quebec running through Chinatown and the central business district.  It is home to landmarks such as the 1000 de la Gauchetière skyscraper, Place Bonaventure, and the Château Champlain.

With the redevelopment of this aging downtown area, the City of Montreal turned to EXP to design an effective and aesthetically pleasing improvement to Rue de la Gauchetière.  EXP is a diverse engineering infrastructure firm providing technical and strategic services to the world’s built environments.  As industry-leading sustainability experts, EXP specified the GreenBlue ArborSystem for the trees plantings on this project.  10 trees being planted in hardscaped area were provided for using ArborSystem, while additional trees were planted in softscape planters.  Underneath the hardscape area, 60 series StrataCells were installed to provide approximately 20 cubic meters of uncompacted soil volume for each tree.  The StrataCell 60 Series is the strongest soil cell in the world, able to withstand maximum vehicular loads with minimal sub-surface above the structure.  The StrataCell has been independently tested to withstand loads in excess of 60 tonnes per square metre, and has been approved for use within highway construction, with calculations based on overrun by a 40 tonne truck.

The RootRain irrigation and aeration system was used to allow water and oxygen access deep into the rooting areas of these trees to encourage healthy root growth. The RootRain Civic inlet was used for the trees in the softscape planter beds, while ArborVent inlets were used in the hardscape areas. ReRoot root management was also used to direct roots away from the paving stone surface and into the StrataCell system, with RootStop root barrier being used to protect the many surrounding utilities from root intrusion.

Ceveco was the contractor that was awarded the project.  As experts in the field of managing major urban landscaping projects, they provide services to the Montreal metropolitan area.  The installation of the one-component StrataCell is extremely fast and simple.  Installers often compare it to assembling large LEGO blocks.  That’s also what makes them so versatile.  The StrataCell’s modularity made it simple to customize the layout around utilities and street lights (as shown below).

Partnering with GreenBlue Urban allowed EXP and Ceveco to create an environment where the trees would thrive and reach maturity, without compromising the structural integrity of the paved surface.  GreenBlue supported all the stakeholders on the project from initial design and layout to onsite consulting and installation support.

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