News Archive


Agimak River Culvert – Replacement And Stream Rehabilitation

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Background

The 2018 Agimak River Culvert Replacement and Stream Rehabilitation on Highway 599, north of Ignace, ON, involved the removal of an aging creosote timber box culvert and replacing it with an open bottom sheet pile structure. This culvert replacement was required to improve highway safety, hydraulic capacity, and enhance existing fish spawning habitat for walleye and white sucker.

TBT Engineering’s Role

TBTE was retained by LH North Ltd. (LHN) to provide Fisheries Contract Specialist (FCS) Services during construction activities. FCS services during construction included:

  • Provide environmental input into dewatering and isolation plans, including Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) planning;
  • Provide fish rescue services prior to removal of the old culvert;
  • Monitoring of erosion and sediment controls (ESC) during construction;
  • Assist with implementation of the new natural stream channel, which included a cobble substrate with a low-flow channel and large boulders to provide resting spots for fish.
  • Provide overall environmental monitoring to ensure serious harm to fish and fish habitat did not occur.

Result

The Agimak River culvert was replaced with minimal disturbance to the aquatic environment. The combined efforts of TBTE’s FCS and the LH North construction crew resulted in a new watercrossing that is stable with a stream channel that provides enhanced spawning habitat and improved fish passage which should result in a significant benefit to the fishery.

After

Municipal Transit Site – Soil and Groundwater Quality Investigations

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Background

A municipal transit fuel storage system and parking lot had reached the end of its serviceable life, and as such, the fuel storage system required replacing and the parking lot required rehabilitation. Underground fuel storage tanks were replaced with above-ground tanks. In order to investigate any environmental concerns for reporting purposes, this required sampling of soils and monitoring of groundwater quality conditions, prior to and during site upgrades.

TBT Engineering’s Role

TBTE was retained by the client to conduct environmental subsurface investigations to establish baseline soil and groundwater quality conditions in the proposed area of the future aboveground fuel storage tank (AST) system; and, to determine if there were any potential issues of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination, related to fuel handling activities migrating towards adjacent properties.

The main aspects of TBTE’s field work program consisted of the following:

  • Arranging the location of all subsurface utilities;
  • Review of historic reports for evaluation and planning purposes;
  • Drilling boreholes to depths below water table and installing groundwater monitoring wells (GMW) for water quality testing;
  • Soil sampling for tank nest excavation;
  • Monitoring of volatile vapours on all soil samples collected;
  • Testing soil samples and groundwater sample for analysis of BTEX and Petroleum Hydrocarbon Fractions;
  • Decommissioning of damaged pre-existing GMWs and registration of newly installed GMW;
  • Analytical reporting on soil and groundwater results to applicable provincial standards;
  • Worked in conjunction with environmental contractor for completion of the work.

Result

Advice was provided to the client at various stages throughout the project on logical steps forward and relevance of such future work.

Through these environmental subsurface investigations, the municipality was able to determine potential groundwater and soil contamination surrounding the pre-existing transit fuel storage system as well as for the location of the new fuel storage system. These results were reported to the relevant regulatory agency by TBTE.


Baseline Study

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Background

In 2018, a greenfields area, located in the district of Thunder Bay, became the subject of future development plans by a local mining company.  TBTE was retained as a consultant to conduct Baseline Environmental Monitoring that included archaeological, biological and physical assessments at key locations in the area.

TBT Engineering’s Role

As part of the baseline environmental monitoring, TBTE biologists were retained to conduct the following assessments:

  • Discharge and water quality monitoring;
  • Fish and Fish Habitat investigations, including fish capture and live-release;
  • Multi-season monitoring of waterfowl populations;
  • Species-at-Risk habitat surveys; and,
  • Wetland and forest ecosite vegetation ground-truthing and mapping.

The field season included several weeks of fieldwork during various seasons.  Fisheries assessments required the use of gillnets (short-term, live-release sets), minnow trapping, visual observations, and backpack electrofishing (TBTE-owned unit).  Water-quality sampling was completed using an extendable-pole sampler and sample results were evaluated against the Provincial WQ Guidelines (PWQG).  Manual flows were measured using a portable Flow Meter, following standard methods to calculate discharge values.

Baseline Environmental Investigations are ongoing.


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