Stabilizing the slopes above a popular pathway in Edmonton's River Valley

Our work on this important project led to an award-winning paper for Thurber.

A landslide occurred along the North Saskatchewan River’s south valley slopes during the summer of 2020, causing the collapse of three timber retaining walls and damaging an important shared-use path southwest of the Capilano Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta.

The failed slopes required stabilization involving the construction of two parallel cast-in-place concrete pile retaining walls, and reconstruction of the above-ground retaining walls and trail, in order to reopen the shared-use path for cyclists and pedestrians. Thurber carried out a geotechnical investigation to evaluate the overall slope failure and provide adequate information for trail rehabilitation. This involved slope stability analysis and finite element analysis using PLAXIS 2D. The results of these analyses were then used in structural analyses to design the twin buried concrete pile retaining walls. Slope movements before and during construction were monitored using slope inclinometers. Survey monitoring of slope stakes used as surface monuments supplemented construction risk management.

The pathway has since reopened to users.

Thurber's paper on the project, entitled Design and Construction of Concrete Pile Retaining Walls for Slope Stabilization along a River Trail in Edmonton received the top case study paper award at GeoSaskatoon 2023.