Resource Roads and Wetlands: Road Construction Considerations

Contacts
Resource Date:
January
2016

Canada’s forested landscapes feature numerous wetlands, such as fens, bogs and swamps, which present environmental and operational challenges during the planning, construction and maintenance of resource roads. The low bearing capacity of in situ soils and the high soil moisture levels that dominate wetland environments necessitate optimized planning strategies, properly designed road infrastructure and cost-effective construction methods to achieve successful road performance. The inadequate bearing capacity of subgrade materials and the placement and installation of drainage and water-crossing structures needed to provide continued hydrologic function are two key challenges for resource roads across wetlands. This presentation will describe the development and evaluation of resource road management and construction techniques and the application of alternative products and materials through the implementation of short and long-term studies and road performance evaluations. Examples of foundation design solutions and performance indicators will be discussed. The development of a national field guide on constructing and managing resource roads built cross wetlands will also be presented. The implementation of FPInnovations research results is expected to mitigate potential environmental impacts and reduce life cycle costs of resource roads and to be readily adopted by resource road construction personnel.