Stability of the north slope and portal at the Edmonton light rail transit crossing of the North Saskatchewan River Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The North Portal for the Edmonton South Light Rail Transit (SLRT) extension is located on the north slope of the North Saskatchewan River Valley west of the High Level Bridge. There was no evidence that the north slope at this location had experienced major, deep-seated slope movements prior to SLRT construction. Since commencement of the North Portal construction, translational slope movements along near-horizontal bentonite layers within the bedrock have developed. Initiation and acceleration of slope movement are believed to be due to the earthwork activities, coupled with precipitation and associated rise in groundwater table. As an interim measure, four deep wells were installed close to the toe of the upper slope in May 1989. The piezometric levels observed after installation of the wells suggest that the drilling of the wells hydraulically connected the various coal–bentonite layers and effectively lowered the higher perched water in the upper coal?bentonite layer. Subsequent slope inclinometer measurements indicate negligible slope movements since the well installations. This paper describes the detailed geotechnical investigations, slope stability assessments, instrumentation, and monitoring records over a 5-year period during and after construction. The paper also describes the implementation of the stabilizing measures and their effects on slope stability. Key words : South Light Rail Transit, North Saskatchewan River Valley, coal–bentonite layers, slope stability, vertical wells.

publication date

  • February 1, 1993