June 2010 Oliver, B.C. mudslide and debris flow
Geologic Hazards

Mudslide and Debris Flow in Oliver, B.C.

Five houses were destroyed and two more severely damaged but nobody was injured in a mudslide and debris flow that occured near Oliver, B.C. on Sunday. It occurred at 2:20 in the afternoon, and there […]

Sea to Sky Highway
Project Related

Geotechnical Engineering Challenges of British Columbia’s Sea-to-Sky Highway, gateway to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Sea to Sky Highway I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying watching the 2010 Olympic Winter games over the past few days. If you have, you know that Whistler is the venue for many of the sports including alpine skiing, luge, skeleton, bobsled, ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country skiing among others. The Whistler area is located about 50-miles or so North of Vancouver. In order to get to Whistler, you need to drive along Highway 99, better known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway.  This highway has a long history of geotechnical problems, including some significant structurally controlled rockslides and landslides.  In the years leading up to these Olympic Games a fair amount of work was done on the highway with some significant geotechnical innovations.

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Geologic Hazards

Sea to Sky Highway Landslide

Earlier this month, there was a massive slope failure on the "Sea to Sky" highway in British Columbia. It is interesting to note that this same area had a large rockslide in 1965, and a photo of this failure is featured on the cover of the classic text, Rock Slope Engineering by Hoek and Bray. The media played up the aspect that this highway is one of the only ways to access the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic games hosted by Vancouver.

 

The composite image above shows the book cover and the recent rockslide event (Photo credit: Erik Eberhardt of the University of British Columbia by way of Dave’s Landslide Blog). Dave has done a fabulous job collecting photos, facts and links from around the web. In a follow up post, he added some additional photos and discussion. I recently came across an article that described how the highway originally was slated to have a tunnel bypassing the slide, but that the price tag of $200 million (CAN?) for a 1-km stretch killed the project.

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