Mobilizing quickly for emergency response

When severe climactic events impact infrastructure, people, goods, and services are impacted.

Consultants and contractors need to be onsite quickly to support recovery efforts. Thurber’s team is committed to quick mobilization to support recovery efforts due to extreme weather. Here is a sample of some of the many projects where we have supported our community:

Cherry Creek Flood - Kamloops

Heavy rain in 2017 caused Cherry Creek in Kamloops to overflow its bank and wash out several culverts and embankments, cutting off the community of Cherry Creek from Highway 1. The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure declared a local state of emergency. Thurber provided geotechnical assessment of geological conditions and foundation assessment for the temporary bridge to provide quick reopening of the road. For the flood repair, we provided piled assessment for the permanent bridge structures, and geotechnical input for the stabilization of failed slopes and reconstruction of the road embankments.

Tank Hill Emergency Repairs and Highway Reconstruction - BC

The atmospheric river that passed through southern British Columbia in 2021 saw our team support multiple projects at the same time. One of these projects was the Tank Hill underpass. Located on the TransCanada Highway near Lytton, BC, the Tank Hill underpass was washed out, destroying the existing road and Canadian Pacific Rail infrastructure. During the emergency repairs, Thurber represented the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure onsite as the Owners Engineer. We provided geotechnical oversite and approvals for the design of emergency repairs. Now that traffic is moving through the area, we’re currently providing geotechnical services for the reconstruction of the highway and the railway bridge.

Malahat Tunnel Hill Washout - Vancouver Island, BC

In November 2021, an atmospheric river devastated Highway 1 in the Malahat on Vancouver Island. For more than 60 hours, 182 millimeters of rainfall led to drainage failure, causing the Tunnel Hill wall structure to collapse.

Thurber Engineering Ltd. and McElhanney Ltd. collaborated on the challenging task of designing the repair to Highway 1 at the Tunnel Hill washout. As the primary route for 35,000 daily commuters, the Malahat posed dual challenges of slope stability and traffic. Combining Thurber's geotechnical expertise with McElhanney's design finesse, they created a comprehensive solution, including a resilient 100-meter-long retaining wall.

The team's impressive response time was also notable. They completed temporary design and repairs within 18 hours and re-established continuous two-way traffic in four days. The project exemplifies resilience, coordination, responsiveness and partnership.

Highway 3 - Hope to Sunday Summit Emergency Response - Interior BC

A series of atmospheric river events in November 2021 led to high-water flows in watercourses in southern British Columbia. The high-water created washouts, mudslides, debris flows, and floods throughout the region, thereby impacting roadways throughout the interior. Thurber provided emergency geotechnical and geohazard assessments following the events to protect the public. We provided recommendations during the response phase, and on-demand support during the recovery phase.