The thousands of visitors and staff who come to 8 Wing Trenton each week now progress through a transformed main entrance, thanks to a year-long, $3.5‑million reconfiguration managed by DCC.

Security enhancements, such as tire shredders, drop arms, wedge barriers and bollards, help keep visitors and personnel safe. Additional lanes facilitate traffic flow. And the space is brighter, but with lights that dim during quiet hours to save energy.

However, ensuring the entrance meets 21st century security and environmental requirements meant having to deal with plenty of 20th century underground infrastructure.

“Every time we dug a hole, we found buried steam lines and other conduits from the 1930s and 40s that weren’t on the plans, were different from what was depicted or were wrapped in asbestos,” says Nicholas Hilts, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services.

Some days that led to quick decisions on how to keep working safely, Hilts explains. Other days saw contractors digging multiple holes so they could progress while the design for features such as storm drainage was revised.

Above ground, integrating and calibrating systems in the new guard hut with similar, but older, equipment at two other entrances also presented challenges. “The components have to talk to each other, so the guards can simultaneously lock down all the entrances if they have to.”

Hilts says that gaining the trust of contractors and Client-Partners and then taking a team approach to problem-solving was key to bringing this project to successful completion.

“I am very proud of the progress we made to overcome the challenges and provide the base with an attractive entrance that meets new security standards.”

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