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Thompson River Retaining Wall Rehabilitation


Adjacent to the Thompson River, a steel bin retaining wall supporting the roadway of the Trans-Canada Highway near Spences Bridge, BC was at the end of its service life. The metal stringers of the bins were severely corroded and localized perforations allowed the granular roadway materials to wash out during high river levels. The resulting sinkholes in the highway posed a safety hazard, and emergency repairs were necessary with increasing frequency. A detailed inspection of the wall was carried out and a temporary repair program was developed to extend the service life of the structure until a permanent upgrade of the structure could be completed. The 1300 m long wall curves with the natural bend in the river and follows the roadway’s vertical profile with heights varying from 4 m to 8.5 m. Excavation for a replacement wall was not feasible as the roadway is only two lanes wide and an adjacent hillside precluded detour construction. Two concrete retaining wall options were selected for final design and developed for competitive tender. One option used cast-in-place concrete and the other option used precast concrete panels. Each option relied upon threadbar soil anchors drilled through the existing bins and under the roadway to resist horizontal soils loading. The low bidder selected the precast system. This paper will summarize the investigation work performed, the design options reviewed for the replacement wall, and the construction methodology used for this structural rehabilitation project.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Carlo Elholm
Jay Sutton