Constructing an all-season highway in the cold northern climate
The Northwest Territories Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning to construct an all-season highway connecting the coastal hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk with the town of Inuvik and southern Canada. The ITH development will involve over 140 kilometres of two-lane, gravel surface highway. The proposed development will require approximately 9.25 million cubic metres of material for its construction and operation over a 50-year period.
Through Stantec's aboriginal partnership KAVIK-Stantec Inc., we’ve worked on detailed surficial mapping of 31 potential borrow sources identified by DOT along the proposed highway alignment. Of these, 24 were recommended for geotechnical investigations to “prove” the material quality and volume present. To limit environmental impacts, the geotechnical field program was completed over multiple years, between mid-March to mid-April when the tundra was frozen.
During our 2012 field program, 350 boreholes were put down throughout 7 potential borrow sources. Another 211 boreholes were put down throughout another 14 potential borrow sources during our 2013 field program. It is expected that additional boreholes will be required in 2014.
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