Featured Projects...

DWB Consulting Services Ltd. has been involved in many complex engineering, environmental and forestry projects. We are proud to highlight some of them here!


Aleza Lake Research Forest Bird Nest Surveys

Client: Aleza Lake Research Forest Society

Years: 2017-2018

DWB has worked on many projects over the years with the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society (ALRFS), and regularly provides input to the society on forest management issues including road infrastructure improvements, forest management, riparian assessments, fish stream habitat improvements, amphibian surveys, and outreach education. The ALRFS retained DWB in 2017 to conduct nest searches within a road right-of-way that was scheduled for clearing by mechanical brushing. DWB assigned our most experienced avian biologists to direct and manage the ALRF project.

Bird nest and nesting behaviour surveys were completed within three days in advance of the mechanical brushing and were also on location when the  brushing crews were active. DWB staff communicated to the brushing crews if birds or nests were detected along the planned route, and then flagged buffer zones around these areas to reduce the potential for direct impacts to them, and to assist the ALRFS in ensuring regulatory compliance with the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, and provincial Wildlife Act. DWB promptly prepared summary reports for the ALRFS manager to describe the completed surveys and summarize support provided during brushing.

Environmental services provided:                                                               

  • Bird nest / nesting behaviour surveys
  • Bird management recommendations
  • Flagging buffer zones around nests
  • Summary reports

DWB employs multiple staff members with master’s degrees in wildlife biology, and avian ecology specifically. Our environmental staff gain significant bird nest survey experience from seasonal nest surveys on construction related projects where clearing and grubbing is involved, and avian habitat classification assessments for our large forestry clients where they provide input on bird management and mitigation techniques.  

     

(Photos: Left:  flagged active birds nest area along the clearing trail. Right: birds nest with eggs detected during the ALRF surveys.)

 

Cottonwood Island Nature Park and Heritage River Trail – Development of Conceptual Erosion Protection Options

Client: City of Prince George

Years: 2017

DWB was retained by the City of Prince George to explore and recommend conceptual options for the provision and protection of Nature Park river trails at Cottonwood Island Nature Park and a portion of the Heritage River Trail. The aim of this project was to assess and address erosional damage along the trail system caused by seasonal flooding and ice jams. DWB’s engineering and environmental departments worked collaboratively to complete site investigations on foot and by boat to inspect trails, existing and potential erosion sites, culverts, bridges, and potential new crossing locations. Following this, locations were prioritized largely on risk of future erosion and loss of infrastructure.

   

Engineering and Environmental services included:     

  • Land and river-based site reconnaissance
  • Hydrotechnical and geomorphological overview assessments
  • Priority ranking of at-risk locations
  • Mapping of all identified locations
  • Preparation of conceptual erosion repair and trail construction options
  • Cost-benefit analysis of mitigation options
  • Collaborative open house presentation
  • Environmental overview assessment
  • Final report summarizing results of study, mitigation options, and public feedback

DWB prepared a list of mitigation options to address problematic areas based on the results of the hydrotechnical, geomorphological, and environmental overview assessment of the study area. The mitigation options fell under the general headings of bioengineering, riprap revetment, and rock setback trenches. An option of moving the trail away from the top-of-bank was also assessed and recommended in some locations.

A summary of our findings and recommendations were presented to the City of Prince George and subsequently at a public Open House and information session. These sessions were hosted by DWB hydrotechnical engineers and environmental professionals. Poster boards and slide show presentations were prepared and showcased during an open forum for discussion and questions which was hosted by DWB staff and City Parks. Attendees were encouraged to complete and return a feedback form, which was also made available through the City website.

A final report was prepared for the City that included a review of location prioritization, mitigation options, summary of the public feedback responses, maps of the trail systems with waypoint survey notes, and a preliminary cost estimate of material and construction fees. A majority of the feedback response was favourable towards the presented rehabilitation options that DWB prepared. City of Prince George Parks Planners will present DWB’s report and recommendations, along with funding strategies identified, to City Council for consideration as a multi-year design and construction project.

(Photo: Above -Information session presentation materials were summarized with marked-up images and summary notes for participants to review and consider.)

 

Foreman Road Stabilization Works

Client: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Years: 2016-2017

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) – Fort George District retained the services of DWB to provide both engineering and environmental services for the Foreman Road Stabilization project, located several kilometers east of Prince George, BC. Bittner Creek (a fish bearing stream) flows adjacent to the road, and two flood events compromised the integrity of the road by eroding embankment material and threatening safety of motorists. An engineering assessment of the site confirmed potential for additional future erosion and negative impacts to the road.

The services of DWB's engineering and environmental departments were retained by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the planning stages of this project. This included project management and survey and design of an access road to permit construction, a temporary bridge, secondary channel and rock berm structures, and riprap armouring for bank stabilization. DWB provided the engineering design drawings for two armoured secondary channels that were installed in Bitner Creek to divert the main flow away from Foreman Road. The design also permitted the flow of water through a permeable berm constructed out of rock rip rap.

DWB was the ministries environmental representative to monitor and direct environmental compliance during construction. DWB’s environmental department completed habitat site overview assessments (including for the presence of at-risk western toads), prepared environmental plans, and obtained permits prior to construction. This project also included design of a fish habitat offsetting (compensation) plan to meet requirements of the federal Fisheries Act authorization.

Engineering services included:

  • Survey and layout
  • Hydrology and geotechnical assessment of Bittner Creek
  • Design of:
    • Access road
    • Temporary bridge
    • Secondary channel and rock berm
    • Bank stabilization                                                                 
  • Construction supervision
  • Post construction reports
  • Habitat offset balance sheets
  • Record drawings

 Environmental services provided:

  • Environmental plans, including the overall Construction Environmental Management Plan
  • Environmental permits / referrals
  • Environmental monitoring reports
  • Fish and amphibian salvage
  • Water sampling
  • Hydroseeding and revegetation
  • Environmental auditing during construction
  • Post-construction reporting

Offsetting measures were a required part of the permitting process under the Fisheries Act and long-term monitoring may be required. DWB’s engineering team is working on the design of a bridge to replace a culvert that is located 150 m upstream of the stabilization project and currently impeding fish passage. This extension of the project is tied to the offsetting requirements of the stabilization works that were completed in 2017. The environmental department is working on the environmental management plan for the culvert replacement.

 

Amphibian and Wetland Connectivity along the Williston Reservoir

Client: BC Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program – Omineca Region

Years: 2014-ongoing

DWB has received funding from the BC Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) since 2014 in support of the study into amphibians and wetlands along the Williston Reservoir. This is one of the largest research projects into the ecology of amphibians and wetlands in northern BC. A goal of this project is to fill in knowledge gaps about the ecology of amphibians and their habitats in northern environments. First Nations collaboration is an essential part to this project, including the support and hiring of field technicians from Nak’azdli, Tsay Keh Dene, and McLeod Lake Indian Band. First Nations field technicians work alongside DWB’s professional herpetologist and environmental technicians to survey amphibians and classify their habitat. Over 50 wetlands and 337 study plots have been surveyed.

(Photo: Aquatic surveys by kayak (upper left inset) and other tools (scales, calipers, PIT tag scanners, and digital photo box) are used to survey and study amphibians.)

Western toads, long-toed salamanders, spotted frogs, and wood frogs are all included in the study. During surveys, amphibians are captured, weighed, and measured in all life stages, and both terrestrial and aquatic habitats are catalogued using provincial ecosystem classification methods. Aquatic invertebrates are sampled, preserved, and classified to gain a better understanding of community dynamic effects. Data loggers have been installed to study seasonal temperature, chemistry, and hydrodynamics of breeding wetlands. Densiometers have been used to estimate canopy cover and coarse woody debris classes and volumes are being estimated to see if this information can be related to detection rates. DWB has implemented multiple scientifically innovative study design components, including using Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and digital photographic records to “fingerprint” individual amphibians.

Environmental data has been tabulated and integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) and r-stats spatial ecological statists have been used to address fundamental questions about amphibian ecology in northern range-marginal environments.

Environmental services provided

  • Ecological Research
  • Conservation Science
  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Classification
  • GIS – Spatial Statistics
  • Wildlife Permits
  • First Nations Training and Mentoring
  • Public Outreach and Education

This project is an example of DWB’s commitment to conservation-based initiatives. DWB donates time, money, and resources to a number of initiatives that are tied to this project, such as providing annual educational services through the University of Northern British Columbia field-based courses held at the John Prince and Aleza Lake Research Forests. Members of DWB’s environmental department are actively involved in public outreach initiatives concerning amphibian conservation, education, and research. DWB has supported these initiatives by giving presentations, hosting workshops, sponsoring mentorship of undergraduate students and First Nations technicians, and working with non-profit organizations to engage different stakeholders and involve communities, families, and children in different forms of conservation action related to BC’s amphibians and wetlands.

(Photos: above - life stages of the long-toed salamander are studied, from eggs to larvae to adult. Below - western toads mating (in amplexus - left) lay strings of eggs (middle) that hatch into tadpoles (right).

 

Highway 97 Salmon River Bridge No. 253 Replacement

CLIENT: Surespan Construction Ltd.

YEARS: 2016-2017

DWB’s engineering and environmental services were retained by Surespan Construction Ltd. to assist in the replacement of the Salmon River Bridge, which is located along Highway 97, approximately 27 km north of Prince George, BC. The previous bridge was constructed in 1954 and consisted of a 54.9 m long, single span, truss and was deemed in need of replacement by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The replacement bridge was a 66.5 m, single span, plate girder bridge with a cast-in-place deck.

This was a large multi-million-dollar project and DWB’s engineering and environmental departments provided a full scope of service. DWB’s engineering department provided all the drawings for the work, including a geometric design, abutment walls, piles, welding details, erection plans, isolation proposal, traffic management plan, and demolition plan. Multiple engineering reports were prepared including a girders stability and overturning analysis, abutment wall, sliding beam, and road certification.

DWB’s environmental department initiated work in September 2016 starting with invasive plant surveys of the project area. An environmental site reconnaissance provided the initial details that went into preparation of the Construction Environmental Management Plan for the project. DWB’s environmental team was on location to monitor construction, assist in mitigating potential environmental effects, and ensure regulatory compliance. During construction, DWB’s environmental department monitored water quality, salvaged hundreds of fish from portions of the river isolated from flow, developed fish habitat offsetting (compensation) plans, and were on location for final planting of offsetting areas.

Engineering services included: 

  • Survey
  • Costing
  • Soil testing
  • Design drawings
  • Record drawings
  • Certification
  • Stability analysis
  • Traffic management plans
  • Demolition plans
  • Procedures

Environmental services provided:

  • Invasive plant survey
  • Environmental management plans
  • Environmental permitting
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Fish Salvage
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Post-construction reporting
  • Habitat offsetting (compensation) plan
  • Revegetation

    

(Photos:  Top - demolition.  Middle - pile installation behind an isolation curtain to prevent silty water from entering the main channel. Bottom left: various isolation techniques are used to protect water quality. Grain bags with poly sheet are carefully placed into the channel under the bridge installation site to prevent overflow into work areas. Bottom Right: fish were captured, photographed, catalogued, and released into areas outside of the construction footprint.)

 

2016 Peace Region Flood Response

CLIENT: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

YEARS: 2016-2017

In mid June 2016, a storm with heavy rainfall caused flooding in the Peace Region, resulting in washouts and damage to multiple crossings along Highways 29, 52, and 97, as well as several main and side roads in the region. Emergency works began immediately, followed by recovery works as water levels lowered and the immediate danger had passed.

DWB was retained by MOTI early on in the process to act as Project Environmental Coordinators for over 200 sites. Environmental monitoring services and guidance, as well as environmental assessments and a general environmental management plan were provided during the emergency works. Once recovery works began, DWB continued to provide environmental monitoring services and guidance, as well as extensive consultation with environmental agencies, First Nations, archaeological and other consultants, ministry staff, and engineering consultants. Site and activity-specific environmental management plans were produces as recovery works progressed, in order to provide more specific guidance during works.   

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES PROVIDED:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Environmental management plans for general emergency works, general culvert maintenance works, debris removal, and specific crossing repairs and replacements
  • Environmental permitting
  • Environmental reporting
The floods in the Peace Region required a quick and efficient response in order to deal with the damage and road closures as fast as possible while still encouraging environmentally sound practices. Works included repair and/or replacement of roads, bridges, culverts, and streambanks, as well as channel repair and site reclamation and revegetation. Detour crossings were required at several sites. Recovery works are ongoing, with the repairs and replacements planned in order to prevent future damage and washouts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle Mountain Hydroelectric Project

CLIENT: Castle Mountain Hydro Ltd.

YEARS: 2010-2017

Castle Mountain Hydroelectric Project involved the planning, design, and construction of an independent power project on Castle Creek in the Robson Valley, BC.

DWB was retained by Castle Mountain Hydro in the planning stages of the projects for both engineering and environmental services. This included completing feasibility studies for the project, survey and layout, followed by project management, survey and design of access to the site, hydrotechnical analysis and studies, and the full design of the intake, penstock, powerhouse, and outlet structures. The environmental aspects included environmental plans, monitoring, permitting, reporting, and auditing as the construction progressed.

Engineering services included:

  • Feasibility testing
  • Land, UAV, and hydrographic surveys and layout
  • Hydrology and hydraulics for all structures
  • Design and drawings for:
    • Access roads
    • All crossings, including the bridge, road crossings, and penstock crossing
    • Intake structure
    • Powerhouse and outlet channel
    • Penstock
  • Ramping rate study
  • Post construction reports
  • Record drawings

 Environmental services provided:

  • Environmental plans, including the overall Construction Environmental Management Plan and various smaller environmental management plans and reports
  • Environmental impact summary
  • Environmental permits/referrals
  • Environmental monitoring reports
  • Fish compensation design and recommendations
  • Water sampling
  • Environmental auditing during construction
  • Post-construction reports

Castle Creek Hydroelectric Project was a large multi-disciplinary project for DWB, incorporating both the engineering and environmental departments over the course of several years. DWB was integral in the planning portion of the project, as well as in designing the access road, crossings (road and pipeline), and the intake, penstock, powerhouse and outlet channel, and developing and implementing the various environmental aspects and mitigation/compensation for the project.

 

Fort Nelson River Bridge

CLIENT: Forbes Industrial Contractors Ltd.

YEARS: 2015-2017

The Fort Nelson River Bridge project involved the replacement of the 430m single lane Acrow Bridge superstructure with a two-lane steel girder and concrete deck bridge for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) on Highway 77. As part of the works, a detour route with bridge was required, as well as structural upgrades to the seven piers and both abutments, and the demolition and removal of the Acrow bridge following completion of the new structure.

DWB was retained by Forbes Industrial Contractors Ltd for both engineering and environmental services. This included design of the detour road, bridge, steel erection, and cast-in-place deck design, as well as the removal plan for the Acrow bridge superstructure. Quality and traffic management plans were developed and executed by the engineering department. The environmental department developed the Construction Environmental Management report, provided environmental monitoring services and reporting services.

ENGINEERING SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Quality management and plans
  • Traffic management and plans
  • Demolition plans
  • Steel erection
  • Concrete deck sequencing
  • Onsite quality supervision
  • Soils and compaction testing
  • Concrete testing
  • Design
    • Detour road, including geometric road design
    • Detour bridge
    • Cast-in-place concrete deck redesign
    • Bridge slide
  • Removal of Acrow bridge
  • Value engineering proposal for the concrete deck
  • Record drawings
  • Quality control reporting to MOTI

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES PROVIDED:

  • Construction Environmental Management Plan
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Hydroacoustic monitoring
  • Erosion control
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Revegetation plans
  • Environmental reporting

The Fort Nelson River Bridge is an ongoing project that has incorporated both the engineering and environmental departments over several years. DWB has been and continues to be involved in the continuing works onsite, as the project nears completion.

“FIC is pleased to have DWB work as part of our project team once again.  As usual DWB has contributed a high level of expertise in multiple fields and gone above and beyond to help us succeed.”

Andrew Forbes, P.Eng.

Forbes Industrial Contractors Ltd.

 

Huckleberry Mine Revegetation Trials

CLIENT: Huckleberry Mines Ltd.

YEARS: 2009-2017

A variety of revegetation research projects have been initiated at Huckleberry Mine in the past decade in an effort to identify successful approaches to revegetating soil-capped areas of the mine site. Between 2009 and 2012, seeding trials, which tested a variety of native plant grasses and legumes and soil amendments were established and monitored to identify challenges to re-establishing vegetation cover on disturbed and degraded soils. In 2014, shrub and tree planting trials were proposed to identify a successful and cost-effective approach for establishing native tree and shrub cover on soil-capped areas of the site.

Tree and shrub planting trials were initiated in 2016. A total of 13 species of trees and shrubs were planted in the trials and the trials included the testing of four types of teabag fertilizers (RTI planter paks).

In 2016, DWB became involved in the shrub and tree planting trials by initiating the trials and conducting the subsequent monitoring, soil testing, and reporting services.

 Environmental services provided:

  • Seed collection
  • Seeding prescriptions
  • Revegetation research trials
  • Soil testing
  • Review and monitoring of hydroseeding trial
  • Environmental reporting

Tree and shrub planting trials are ongoing with sampling continuing into 2017 and potentially beyond. Information provided from the trials will assist Huckleberry Mine in re-establishing tree and shrub cover throughout the site as reclamation progresses. DWB has been instrumental in providing the personnel and services required to continue the trials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moberly River Construction Bridge

CLIENT: Formula Contractors Ltd.

YEARS: 2015-2017

The Moberly River Construction Bridge project involved the construction of a bridge across the Moberly River as part of a transport corridor for materials required for the construction of the BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Project. The project included geotechnical investigations, and construction of the bridge and approaches.

DWB was retained by Formula Contractors Ltd. for both engineering and environmental services. This included hydrotechnical design, soils and compaction testing, survey, quality management, structural design review, environmental plans, permitting, monitoring, construction surveys, and reviewing. DWB has also been retained to develop a bridge demolition plan and associated environmental protection plan to be put in place once the bridge is no longer required for Site C.

 ENGINEERING SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Quality management
  • Land and UAV surveys
  • Access bridge design
  • Structural design review
  • Hydrotechnical design
  • Soils and compaction testing

 ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES PROVIDED:

  • Environmental Protection Plans for geotechnical investigations, and bridge construction
  • Environmental permitting
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Spawning fish surveys
  • Environmental reporting

The Moberly River Construction Bridge was a multi-year project, requiring review, design, and planning for the various stages of the project. Significant environmental constraints were encountered throughout the project. DWB was integral in the design, quality management, and developing and implementing the various environmental aspects and mitigation for the project.

 

Peace River Construction Bridge

CLIENT: Saulteau Ruskin Construction Services Joint Venture

YEARS: 2015-2016

The Peace River Construction Bridge project involved the construction of a temporary bridge across the Peace River as part of a transport corridor for materials required for the construction of the BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Project.

DWB was retained by the Saulteau Ruskin Construction Services Joint Venture to provide environmental representation. This involved reviewing the Environmental Protection Plan for the project, and providing environmental awareness training, environmental and hydroacoustic monitoring, and environmental reporting for the duration of the project.

 ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES PROVIDED:

  • Environmental Protection Plan review
  • Environmental Awareness training
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Hydroacoustic monitoring
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Safety jetboat services
  • Environmental reporting

The Peace River Construction Bridge required a variety of environmental protection measures and management considerations. DWB prepared an environmental awareness training presentation, and provided training to all onsite staff. The Qualified Environmental Professional provided regular bi-weekly site inspections, as well as signing off on all weekly environmental reports and monitoring data submitted by the monitors. The project was completed in March 2016, with construction completed as per the Environmental Protection Plan.

“DWB provided Ruskin with sound and practical advice to help manage the environmental expectations of the project. Their field team was knowledgeable, practical, and innovative in finding quick solutions to construction challenges on this incredibly sensitive project. We would happily work with DWB on future projects.”

Travis Trussler, Ruskin Contractors Ltd.

 


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