Red Earth Creek in northern Alberta
Red Earth Road runs alongside the bicentennial highway in Red Earth Creek in northern Alberta, and is an access road for local businesses and storage yards. The road saw increasing use as area industry and traffic grew. While in the process of reconditioning this important and heavily-traveled roadway, the MD of Opportunity approached Paradox Access Solutions to ask what could be done to enhance the road’s durability going forward and keep future repairs to a minimum. Paradox proposed a solution using Tough Cell® geocells as reinforcement beneath the road surface. The project went ahead in the summer of 2013. Paradox supplied the geometric design for the road as well as the site preparation and installation of Tough Cell®. The District supplied infill aggregate to project specifications and the roadway capped with a final aggregate course. This project delivered: •Decreased capital and long-term operating costs •Eliminated downtime from repeated road closures
Red Earth Creek in northern Alberta
One of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies with operations in natural gas, oil and power industries needed access to a new compressor site built in an area with significant peat and high water table. This permanent road would give their employees reliable year round access to the site – and ensure their operations are running smoothly. This road was designed by Stratum Logics. Tough Cell® installation was supervised by Paradox, installation of Tough Cell® by Prime Contractor Groupe Maco, ground prep and aggregate infill by civil contractor Charex. — To ensure necessary access through all seasons and weather conditions, Paradox Access Solutions engineered, supplied and installed a turn-key reinforcement solution using Tough Cell® geocells.
A heavily used town street in the community of Red Earth was being reconditioned by the municipality. “Topping-up” of gravel was a routine occurrence due to the heavy volume of traffic accessing the tire shop and bulk fuel station on this route. The MD of Opportunity sought methods by which the road could be strengthened as previous repair attempts were ineffective.
A combination of poor soil subgrade and difficult-to-stabilize ground surface resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars spent annually on multiple and chronic rebuilds and heavy industrial equipment being towed up the hill.
Locally available gravel pit screenings were used as infill instead of trucking in costly gravel infill.
All-season access to client sites
Stabilizing poor soil subgrade and building long-lasting roads with increased bearing capacity for heavy equipment and high use, ensuring access for large volumes of logging and oilfield service trucks heavy industrial equipment traffic without road closures.
A Tough Cell® reinforced structure was built
on top of the existing road. The design section
consisted of a sand base reinforced with 330-150
Type D geocells and then topped with 175mm of
locally-sourced gravel supplied by the District.
Total area: 1km length x 8m width
Product(s): 330-150-76 Type D Tough Cell® Geocell;
Infill: locally sourced aggregate supplied by the
The Municipal District of Opportunity now enjoys a reliable and durable road that will serve its growing economic and industry needs for years to come. A follow-up site visit in 2017 found Red Earth Road to be in pristine condition and performing to full expectations of the District. The district benefited from this innovative engineering solution in reduced construction costs and the advantage of utilizing local materials to offset material and transportation costs. Officials report that maintenance costs have dropped to near nil since the installation, and the MD has embarked on additional new projects with Paradox Access Solutions after the success of Red Earth Road.
FROM THE DISTRICT OFFICIALS:
“Since we used Tough Cell® on our C-Six service road we have only had to “topup” the gravel once since installation…[which] used to be a regular occurrence for this section of road due to the heavy volume of traffic utilizing it to access the tire shop/bulk fuel station. This road is also unaffected by heavy rainfall as all water is drawn towards the ditches on either side. When we decided to cover the service roads in town, this road accepted the new surface and held up better than any of the other sections due to the fact that there was no trapped water in the road or subgrade…we at MD #17 look forward to the continued expansion of this product to many more of our road systems in the communities.” – B. Clark, Lead Hand, MD of Opportunity #17