Trans Canada Highway Upgrade

Support construction projects with strategic advice.

Proactive/collaborative environmental management for massive Trans Canada Highway upgrade

The Task

Provide ‘as and when’ environmental services on the 40km upgrade of a highway corridor and associated additional lease areas through Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and Langley regions.  The client needed an environmental consultant that could help them solve problems, not create problems.

The Challenge

The client had a wide variety of issues on this quickly changing project, and they needed a strategic partner more than they needed a consultant to simply complete tasks.  A highway upgrade of this size generates massive amounts of excess soil during excavation and to properly managing its documentation, transport, and dumping is no small task.  Other challenges included closing out site leases, agricultural assessments, spill response, hazardous building materials assessment, and classification of non-soil wastes.

 The Solution

Work included identifying excavation areas at risk of contamination, collecting soil data and effectively communicating information to a large number of very interested stakeholders that included engineers, shift supervisors, and disposal site managers.

We determined that this was a perfect project for the application of web geographic information systems (GIS) tools.  We needed a method of overlaying the project design with a number of site information data points such as: risk areas, cut areas, investigation locations, and excavations already cleared for disposal/ awaiting approval, etc.  Web GIS was a way to present this information in real time and available to the construction engineers, the waste pit engineers, environmental managers, and trucking fleets on a secure website.

Collaborating with our client as a partner was another key component to the success of the project.  We needed to find out what was important to them and helping them find solutions that made sense for them, not a one-size-fits-all approach

The Result

This successful project gave us the opportunity to develop an effective web-based GIS system that provided information to all the people who needed it when they need it.  The benefit, compared to the need for constant email communication and flurry of pdf documents, was an application that could be used by a wide group of people, and at all hours of the day or night, to access a wide variety of information in an easy to use graphical interface.

Even better than this was a satisfied client who felt they could trust us as a partner to provide strategic advice and solutions, not just a simple consultant who just identifies problems.