Gateway Boulevard Heavy Rail and Dangerous Goods Risk Assessment
Developing land near railways for urban densification
The City of Edmonton aims to expand through city infill and densification, rather than through potentially costly urban sprawl. An area of undeveloped land, adjacent to the CP Rail line and yard in south Edmonton was identified for expansion.
The location lies right in the middle of a primary thoroughfare for transportation into Edmonton’s downtown core, and is a highly congested area. Proximity to a railway poses challenges such as public safety, access and noise.
SMA organized a risk assessment workshop that brought together the various concerned stakeholders. Together we identified a number of major rail risks that could potentially impact future site development and narrowed them down to 3 key risks. Our risk assessment was integrated with failure mode and effect analysis. Our context-based risk identification process was developed based on research out of the University of British Columbia and we also developed a highly innovative statistical approach to assessing the risks for developing near heavy rail.
We identified three key risk events: train derailment, trespassing onto the railway, and dangerous goods movements on Gateway Boulevard. In conjunction with our identification of possible risk events, we also drafted a detailed mitigation plan, which enabled the project team to weigh the challenges they encounter, making for a smoother project process. We also identified risk mitigation and safety measures to effectively proceed with development on this parcel of land.