PLATINUM SUPPORTERS
Technical Tours
TECHNICAL TOUR COSTS (CANADIAN DOLLARS, EXCLUDING GST)

GeoVancouver reserves the right to cancel any technical tour should the minimum number of registrants not be reached. In the event of a technical tour cancellation, the registrants will be notified via email and offered another technical tour or a full refund. Depending on the pricing of the tour, an additional charge may apply. 

Important Note: All tours will be in English only. 


Geotechnical Engineering and the Olympic Dream 

THIS TOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Time: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Departure: Westin Bayshore Hotel

Price: $125

Minimum required: 10 people  Maximum: 30

What does it take for an athlete to realize their Olympic dreams? And how were geotechnical engineers instrumental in the phenomenal success of the 2010 Winter Games? Bring your walking shoes and join us on this active tour for the answers to BOTH of these questions!                                                                                                                                              

To start, we will explore geotechnical aspects of two major infrastructure projects integral to the success of the 2010 Winter Olympics: the rapid transit link between Vancouver, Richmond and the YVR International Airport, more commonly known as the “Canada Line”; plus the amazing Richmond Olympic Oval, originally built as a long-track speed skating facility, but now in use as a multi-purpose sport and fitness facility. 

Tour participants will be introduced to the Canada Line project by local professionals involved in management and design of the project, as well as to geotechnical aspects associated with tunnel construction via two different techniques (i.e., tunnel boring machine and cut-and-cover technique). We’ll also hear about the design of foundations for piers supporting the above-ground sections of track which cross both a major river channel and deep deltaic soils. We will then stroll 1.7 km along Vancouver’s scenic harbour waterfront from the conference hotel to Waterfront Station, one of the region’s key transit hubs.

At Waterfront Station, participants will board Canada Line itself for an escorted tour from Vancouver’s inner harbour to Richmond, followed by a 1.6 km (leisurely 30 minute) walk to the Richmond Olympic Oval on the scenic banks of the Fraser River. A brief tour around the Oval will be followed by a presentation from the geotechnical professionals charged with overcoming engineering challenges associated with constructing a very large, settlement-sensitive structure in a relatively short time frame on a very thick sequence of deltaic sediments.                           

Our day will also include a guided tour of the new Richmond Olympic Experience (www.therox.ca), North America’s most interactive sports attraction, showcasing state-of-the-art hands-on sport simulators, skill-testing exhibits, and an invitation to “walk a mile in an athlete’s shoes as they pursue their Olympic dream” via the immersive ROX Theatre with its motion-actuated seats. “Feel the rush as you fly off an Olympic ski jump, or paddle down a raging white-water kayak course” and much, much more.

Tour includes:

  • Coffee and snacks
  • Return transit fares
  • Lunch
  • Attraction entry fees
What to wear: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes, plus rain gear, depending on weather.

Photo Credit: Translink and City of Richmond


Geotechnical Engineering in the Mountainous Terrain - Opportunities and Hazards

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Time: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm (or 9:00 pm, if optional dinner is selected)

Departure: Westin Bayshore Hotel

Price: $175

Minimum required: 10 people  Maximum: 20

What are some of the engineering opportunities and hazards associated with living in, or even just travelling through, mountainous terrain? Come along with us on this scenic bus tour from Vancouver to the world-famous destination resort of Whistler and find out! 

The spectacular Sea to Sky Highway winds its way through British Columbia’s Coast Mountains from Vancouver to Pemberton, passing through Squamish and Whistler. The highway travels along precariously steep rock slopes above Howe Sound, then along the raging Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers, past stunning waterfalls and glacier capped peaks. 

Historically, the highway corridor has been susceptible to frequent landslides, channelized debris flows, and structurally controlled rockslides, sometimes with devastating consequences, prior to recent highway upgrades.The tour will include stops at several landslide mitigation features, including a debris flow flume, retaining structures, sections of extensive rock slope stabilization and drapes. We’ll also head up the beautiful Sea to Sky Gondola to gain a wider perspective on the regional geomorphology, as well as majestic views of the Howe Sound fjord.                                                 

In recent years, significant highway improvements were undertaken to widen sections of the highway from two lanes to four and to improve safety. Given the extreme topography, much of the highway was built on steep slopes along Howe Sound.  Innovative foundation solutions were required to overcome the constraints of steep rock slopes above the road, steep slopes below, and the existence of a CN railway line at the base of the slope. On top of all that, the road had to remain open to traffic throughout construction. 

Our tour will include stops at several points along the highway illustrating typical foundation solutions, including rock anchorages for piers founded on steep rock to support cantilevered sections of road deck, concrete starter walls anchored to the steep rock to support MSE walls, and MSE walls founded directly over existing rock fill slopes. 

At our turn-around point in Whistler, we’ll stop at the Fitzsimmons Creek Debris Barrier and the Fitzsimmons Creek Hydroelectric Project, both innovative designs incorporating a number of fascinating solutions to geotechnical hazards and hydroelectric opportunities. On the return trip to Vancouver, you have the opportunity to stop for dinner (optional – cost not included) at the renowned Salmon House restaurant, offering spectacular views of English Bay and the city lights of Vancouver.  If you want your fill of beautiful, natural British Columbia all in one day, you really can’t do better than this tour!

Tour includes:

  • Coffee and snacks
  • Return transportation
  • Lunch
  • Attraction entry fees

What to wear: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes, plus rain gear, depending on weather.

Not included: Cost of optional dinner.

Photo Credit: Sea to Sky Gondola 


Geotechnical History and Innovation - Hydroelectric Dam Upgrades for the 21st Century

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Departure: Westin Bayshore Hotel

Price: $85

Minimum required: 10 people  Maximum: 20

How has BC Hydro, one of North America’s largest producers of hydroelectricity, applied geotechnical engineering innovations to upgrade one of its historical assets, the Ruskin Dam, so it can continue to provide a safe and secure source of power well into the 21st century? Spend a day with us and find out!

Ruskin Dam is located on the Stave River near its confluence with the mighty Fraser River, about 60 km upstream of the Fraser River delta. Ruskin is a concrete gravity dam constructed in 1929/30 and founded primarily on bedrock. However, the dam’s right abutment is comprised mainly of glacially deposited silts and dense sands which are prone to piping under seepage flows induced by impoundment of the Hayward Lake reservoir.                                                                       

Initially, a cut-off system comprised of sloping concrete slabs, founded on retaining walls and sheet piles, was constructed along a portion of the reservoir embankment and connected to the right abutment of the dam to mitigate seepage flows. Despite those efforts, significant seepage and piping was observed upon first filling of the reservoir in 1930, and development of sinkholes was an on-going issue. In addition, a more current understanding of seismic hazards and dam safety risks led to a need to address deficiencies of the original seepage cut-off system. Your tour will included an on-site review of the recently completed seismic and seepage control upgrades, including construction of slurry panel cut-off walls, jet grouting, and placement of an asphalt mastic to tie the new seepage control system into the dam.

Tour includes:

  • Coffee and snacks
  • Return transportation
  • Lunch

What to wear: Comfortable clothing and steel-toe footwear, plus rain gear, depending on weather. High-visibility vests, safety glasses and hard hats will be provided (NB: this is an active construction site), or you may bring your own.

Photo Credit: BC Hydro 

 

       
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