PROTECTING THE ROAD BELOW, FROM DANGER ABOVE.
Three Valley Gap, British Columbia – Wyssen Avalanche Control hired Ecora’s project team on behalf of The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (BC MoTI) to design, install, and provide rock fall protection for the first Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS) towers in Canada. The towers are located at avalanche start zones up to 500 m above Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap, west of Revelstoke BC.
Steep slopes and brutal winter storms have caused treacherous conditions on Highway 1, near 3 Valley Gap for years. Highway 1 is the only road travelling north out of the Okanagan Valley toward Alberta. An avalanche can cause a road closure for several days and have far reaching implications for individuals and shipping companies who rely on passage through the # Valley Gap area.
Ecora carried out stability assessments of the rock slopes above and below the tower locations, undertook geotechnical and structural design of the tower foundations, carried out quality control testing on concrete and grout used in construction, and prepared an environmental control plan.
The towers have been used to successfully control avalanches affecting Highway 1 beginning in the winter season of 2016/1017. This system improves highway reliability and reduces highway closure times by allowing BC MoTI to complete avalanche control during all weather conditions and at any time of day or night.