Home » News » GRS fish passage is first project completed through national conservation program

GRS fish passage is first project completed through national conservation program

February 24, 2017


An AIL Geotextile Reinforced Soil (GRS) Arch near Fox Creek, Alberta, was the first major project to be completed under Trout Unlimited Canada’s conservation program to identify, prioritize and resolve culvert-related problems. With two perched culverts impeding fish migration, this crossing was identified as a high priority opportunity to improve fish habitat with a larger open-bottom structure. 

culvert-replacement-new  fish-passage-replacement-culvert

Beaver dammed inlets created extensive upstream flooding and ongoing maintenance issues. The perched culverts created a complete fish barrier isolating over 10 km of upstream channel habitat.

GRS technology simplifies remote installations
AIL’s unique GRS technology was used to support both the Super•Cor Arch and the headwalls in this project. GRS technology ‘puts the dirt to work’ by using multiple layers of tightly spaced geotextile and compacted backfill to construct a confined soil composite arch around the Super•Cor Arch structure. The GRS composite arch formed a smooth and seamless transition into the headwalls of the structure. This allowed for a relatively short structure length compared to the finished road width — significantly shorter than the initial culvert and flume.  

Fast and economical crossing solution
AIL’s GRS Bridges are lightweight and easy to ship to remote sites. They eliminate the need for concrete or pile foundations and permit the use of a wider range of backfill materials.

South Tony Creek passed under a high traffic resource road serving Apache Canada oil fields so continuous access was needed for both industrial and public users. A single lane bypass bridge kept traffic moving during construction.

geotextile-reinforced-soil-bridge  stream-crossing-culvert-replacement

This fixed-price project took place in the fall to take advantage of lower water levels. A sheet pile coffer dam was used to restrict and direct the stream flow into a temporary bypass culvert. Sheet pile scour walls were also used to support the foundation preparation for the specialty prefabricated steel footings and to provide for substantial scour protection.  

culvert-with-fish-passage  culvert-replacement-in-construction

The stream was reconstructed using cobble, boulders and washed-in sand and gravel to construct a stable, scour resistant and fish-friendly stream channel.

interior-structural-plate-open-bottom-culvert interior-culvert-replacement

More about AIL’s Geotextile Reinforced Soil (GRS) Bridges »

Project at a glance:

Name: Bigstone Road - South Tony Creek
Location: Near Fox Creek, Alberta
Owner: Apache Canada Ltd.  
Prime Consultant: Amec Foster Wheeler 
Sub Consultant: Terratech Consulting Ltd.
Contractor: Landmark Solutions Ltd.  
Application: Stream Crossing (Replacement)   
Product: AIL Geotextile Reinforced Soil (GRS) Bridge  
Dimensions: Span 10.1 m, Rise 5.0 m, Length 25.2 m  
Installation time: Approximately four weeks

Related Articles: 

GRS technology, polymer coating benefit BC MoTI replacement »

Traffic keeps rolling as BC GRS Bridge installs in just eight days »