In June 2013, a severe rain event occurred in Alberta affecting the eastern sections of Banff National Park. The resulting high-water flows threatened many bridge crossings, significantly damaging three bridge crossings and one bridge beyond repair.
COWI conducted ongoing emergency inspections of all the TransCanada Highway bridge and culvert crossings in the Park throughout the initial days of flooding.
COWI, working with Parks Canada personnel and contractors operating in the Park, assessed the conditions at the most threatened bridge crossings and provided ongoing directions for protecting the structures as the situation continued to evolve.
Within 48 hours of the start of flooding, COWI working collaboratively with Parks Canada and other consultants developed an aggressive strategy to open all four lanes of the TransCanada Highway within eight days of the initial flood event and in time for long weekend traffic.
Full service was restored with 8 days of the flood event helping get people back into their homes and to their daily routines, ensured the safe and reliable transportation of goods across Canada and permitted visitors into Banff National Park in the peak season.
Providing on the spot emergency bridge protection and repair strategies for multiple sites while the flood event is still in progress was both challenging and exciting. Identifying the best use of limited equipment and resources to return the highway to full capacity within 8 days of the flood event to accommodate Canada Day long weekend traffic in Banff was very fulfilling
COWI also coordinated geotechnical investigations and engineering as well as offsite engineering support to the contractor during repairs, detailed design of the replacement bridge and engineer of record services during the replacement bridge construction.
In addition, within 16 days of the flood event, a tender package for a larger and more robust replacement bridge at TransCanada Highway km 2.5 site was completed and submitted for tendering by COWI. Construction of the replacement bridge was completed and opened to traffic prior to the full onset of winter in early November 2013.