Our team gets “between a rock and a hard place” to help widen infamous highway for 2010 Games
Pivotal to Vancouver-Whistler’s 2010 Winter Games bid was the commitment to upgrade the Sea-to-Sky Highway. With sheer rock faces on one side and a steep plunge to the ocean and an active rail line on the other side, work crews lived the old adage of being “between a rock and a hard place” while erecting 65 Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls.
The challenges extended well beyond the treacherous terrain.
Beyond the steep geographical constraints that required the road to be widened by up to 10 m (32′ 10″) where there had only been air before, crews also had to navigate a number of other issues including: working around the clock to take advantage of lower traffic volumes; stopping up to 14,000 vehicles a day for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time; having only the narrow road shoulder to stockpile materials on, and; a drop-dead schedule that commanded fast-paced, synchronized deliveries to complete this four-year, $775 million mega-project well before the Games.