Dillon was retained to provide engineering services for the design and construction of the approximately 5 km Berens River First Nation Access Road to connect the community to the All Weather Road. The access road was designed to an 80 km design standard.
The project provided opportunities for social and economic growth while being environmentally responsible and respectful of traditional activities, culture and land values. During the planning and design phase, multiple meetings were held with the Chief and Council of Berens River to ensure our team's efforts were aligned with their objectives and land use plan.
The access road alignment wove through Canadian Shield terrain including bedrock, peat and bog lands, as well as boreal forest. Dillon undertook a thorough field investigation to ensure ‘costly surprises’ commonly seen on grading projects in geographic conditions like the Canadian Shield did not occur.
Our environmental and transportation teams worked cohesively to identify potential environmental impacts and opportunities early in the design process. Cleared timbers were harvested in a fashion that allowed them to be utilized at the local sawmill. Phasing of the construction schedule was completed utilizing an understanding of the needs of compliance with environmental constraints but also ensured optimization of construction logistics were incorporated (i.e., minimizing the amount of barge trips), as well as adherence complying with caribou and bird windows.
The tendering and construction phase of the project was unique as Berens River has an established construction company and self-performed elements of the work (clearing and grubbing, crushing of aggregates, earthworks) via direct engagement contracts (at negotiated prices). Where the larger roadworks elements required subcontracting, Dillon negotiated on behalf of Berens River to ensure it was viable for all parties.