Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Installation Completed!

The second half of the tunnel was put in place last Wednesday and repaving happened today. Here are some more photos to demonstrate how smoothly the whole process went.

May 4, 8:00 AM:  The excavator uncovered some large pieces of wood only about 0.5 m deep in the road bed on the west side.

Fortunately, the deeper material was good and gravelly.

9:00 AM:  The base was compacted quickly after adding crush and checking the height.

Two and a half more sections of culvert were lifted into place to complete the 13.4-m tunnel.

The most gruelling part of the job - filling the inside of each section with substrate 0.3 m deep to make the interior of the tunnel level with the ditch.

12:30 PM:  Several truck loads of "pit run" delivered to cover the culvert.  Loads came quickly one after another from a quarry just a few hundred metres from the site.

14:00 PM:  Substrate at the entrance of the tunnel was compacted and sloped away to prevent water from pooling inside. 

15:00 PM:  Compacting the road surface so it could be left until the repaving crew arrived.

10 May, 9:00 AM:  A paving crew arrived from Nanaimo to do our job as well as some others on the west coast.

The first layer of asphalt applied smoothly over the prepared surface. 

Torching the first layer to dry it before applying the next.

12:00 PM: Finishing the second layer.

12:15 PM:  Installation Completed! We'd like to express a huge thank you to Simon Stubbs, Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, for overseeing the installation. Simon, you rock!!! More thanks to come in our next post.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day One of the Tunnel Installation

One half of the amphibian tunnel was installed today!! These pictures tell the story:

7:15 AM: Safety meeting with the site safety coordinator .

7:30 AM: Setting out safety cones and signage.

7:35 AM: Laying out lines for the trench.

7:55 AM: Rock-hammer punching through the pavement along the lines. 
A red squirrel come running out of the forest to perch, inquisitively, on the roadside fence. Rock-hammers do sound somewhat like a the trill of a squirrel, only much louder!

9:00 AM: Excavating the top layer of pavement before digging the trench.

Carefully making the trench size match the layout.

10:00 AM:  Adding crushed gravel over the bottom of the trench.

A hydraulic hoe-packer compacting the "crush" before it is raked smooth.

Making sure the base is at the right level.

12:30 PM:  Loading the trailer with culvert pieces that had been stored at a nearby gravel yard.

Delivering the culvert pieces to where the crane waited to lift them into the trench.

Each piece weighs over 19,100 pounds or 8.6 tonnes.

Lining the first piece up on the centre line of the highway.

Filling each culvert piece with natural substrate, slid down the board to the back end.

Natural substrate is a mix of soil from the forest floor (called "overburden" in the quarry industry) and crushed gravel.

Downed wood and litter placed on top of substrate in each section.

Lifting in the second section of culvert.

Lining the sections up to fit snuggly. 
No gasket or seal was needed because the culvert will not carry water.

13:50 PM: Lifting in the third section of culvert.

Adding and compacting "crush" around the box culvert.

16:15 PM: Culvert fully buried to the shoulder. Rip rap will be added tomorrow.

16:30 PM: Metal plate laid over top makes it secure to drive over.

Sure hope the frogs and salamanders will like it!