Salmon Arm engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen and Mayor Alan Harrison discuss the work currently underway on the Ross Street underpass project. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Salmon Arm engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen and Mayor Alan Harrison discuss the work currently underway on the Ross Street underpass project. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Salmon Arm council approves $430,785 for rail monitoring during underpass construction

Real-time automated system to watch temporary bypass track for movements in the soil

City council approved a contract for $430,785 plus taxes for an automated monitoring system that will keep track of the railway tracks while the Ross Street underpass is under construction.

Council voted in support of the contract, as well the waiving of the city’s procurement policy, to RF Binnie & Associates Ltd., which has been working on the underpass project, having advanced it through to the construction phase which is now underway.

Engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen explained at the Sept. 27 council meeting that the real-time monitoring system was identified early on as the most effective and efficient method for mitigating the risk of any movement along the shoo-fly or bypass track being constructed to divert trains during construction.

“Because this is a temporary bypass, it needs to be monitored 24/7 for any deflections or any movements in the soils – this real-time automated system does that for us,” said Niewenhuizen, explaining the system involves a number of reflectors located on the bypass track and a monitoring system on an adjacent building.

“It uses a number of other buildings in the area as benchmark locations and it continually monitors all of the locations to ensure that there isn’t any significant deflections in the track which, if severe enough, could result in a train derailment,” said Niewenhuizen.

Niewenhuizen said it is a costly component, but it is within the project budget for engineering services and, being fully automated, will save the time and expenses of crews having to monitor the tracks day and night.

Read more: Column: City of Salmon Arm on track for underpass construction


lachlan@saobserver.net
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