September 12-16, 2010

63rd Canadian Geotechnical Conference
& 6th Canadian Permafrost Conference

Platinum Sponsors

Technical Tours

GEO2010 Calgary is pleased to offer two full-day technical tours – one before and one after the conference.

Our first trip in the afternoon on Sunday, September 12, 2010 – Calgary’s Construction Wonders – focuses on touring sites of engineering interest to geotechnical practitioners in the Calgary area. Please click here for more information.

Our second trip on Thursday, September 16, 2010 – Frank Slide & Turtle Mountain Hike – is a full day expedition to the Crowsnest Pass region to tour the Frank Slide and hike Turtle Mountain. Please click here for more information.

Sunday, September 12, 2010
Calgary’s Construction Wonders
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Meet in the Hyatt Calgary lobby at 12:45 p.m.
Transportation: Transit Coach or similar
Cost: $40 before July 17, $50 on/after July 17

Part 1 – Anatomy of a Skyscaper

Tour one of Calgary`s most dominant landmarks. Both “The Bow” and “Eighth Avenue Place” are being considered for the high-rise component of the local tours. Get an inside look at the unique problems encountered during construction and the solutions employed.
Calgary`s “The Bow” is one of the most challenging high-rises to ever have been constructed in the country. When completed, it’s to be the tallest building in Western Canada at 58 stories and 247 metres. Its sheer scale, in combination with the exoskeleton design, makes it a true gem in skyscraper construction.

Eighth Avenue Place is Canada’s first pre-certified LEED Gold office tower. Upon completion, the complex will contain 1.8 million square feet of office space. The first tower, being 49 stories and 210 metres in height, is expected to be topped out by the tour date. The building structure consists of a concrete core with a structural steel form and utilizes self-climbing formwork. For more information visit:

Details of these tower tours are contingent on construction status and will not be known until the time of touring. Although the above tour times and sites are intended, the specific tour sites may be modified or changed up until the day of touring.

Part 2 - Harvie Passage: The Bow River Weir Project

Tour Leader: Charles Slack, P.Eng. - Klohn Crippen Berger

It has been almost 100 years since the Bow River flowed freely through the City of Calgary. Since 1904, a weir to divert water for irrigation has blocked passage on the Bow. The current structure, built in 1975 near Inglewood, performs the important function of diverting water into a canal for use by farmers in the Western Irrigation District.
While useful and necessary for irrigation, this structure has proven to be an extreme safety hazard, creating a recirculating hydraulic wave known to rescue professionals as the “drowning machine”. By building several highly engineered structures on and below the weir, the water level will be backed up and the deadly recirculating wave will be eliminated. The in-river engineered features are expected to be completed by the spring of 2011. More Information: &

Part 3 - Calatrava Peace Bridge

Nestled between the banks of the Bow River, just west of the city’s central park, a pedestrian bridge called the Peace Bridge is being constructed. This unique structure will connect the Eau Claire area and Hillhurst-Sunnyside, carrying thousands of Calgarians each day. The design is by internationally recognized architect, Santiago Calatrava, and follows strict requirements imposed by the city, with no piers in the water (in an effort to minimize the ecological footprint) and restricted height (due to the vicinity of a Heliport).
The bright red bridge will span 130 meters and utilizes a cylindrical helix design for support. “Seemingly simplistic at first glance, the Peace Bridge is a highly technical bridge,” says Calatrava. When completed, it is expected that the bridge will be used by more than 5,000 people daily.
More Information: quick link “Peace Bridge”

Part 4 - Calgary West LRT

Calgary's light rail transit (LRT) network of 38 LRT stations and 44km of track is extending west. Approved by Council in November 2007, the West LRT will extend the existing LRT line from downtown to 69th Street S.W. The eight-kilometre LRT line will feature six LRT stations, two Park and Ride lots and Calgary's first elevated and underground LRT stations. It will open for revenue service in December 2012.
Due to the complexity of the project, challenges are expected with several aspects of the construction process. Touring is contingent on construction status and the time requirement of the earlier tours. More Information:

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Frank Slide & Turtle Mountain

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Meet in the Hyatt Calgary lobby by 7:45 a.m.
Transportation: Highway Motorcoach
Cost: $100 before July 17, $115 on/after July 17 (lunch included)

Tour Leaders: Personnel of Alberta Geological Survey

In 1903, a rockslide depositing 30 million cubic metres of debris occurred on Turtle Mountain. The rockslide devastated a portion of the town of Frank, Alberta, and killed over 70 people in its path. To date, the Frank Slide remains most deadly landslide in Canadian history.
Today, the site of Frank Slide is being used by the Alberta Geological Survey as a world class field study for the use of early warning systems, and is still the focus of research studying rock slope failure mechanics and debris mobility.

This field trip to Frank Slide will take delegates to the base of the slide where they can witness Turtle Mountain, walk amongst the landslide rubble, and observe the runout distance of the slide debris. Delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • learn about the structural geology of Alberta’s front ranges from an Alberta Geological Survey geologist,
  • discuss advanced theories regarding the mechanisms causing the original slide with landslide researchers from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland,
  • witness current advanced early warning devices (including ground-based InSAR) and discuss the early monitoring program with an engineer with the Alberta Geological Survey,
  • watch the docu-drama “On the Edge of Destruction – The Frank Slide Story”, and
  • explore the newly opened interpretive centre.

In addition, the tour will include a stop at the worlds largest known glacial erratic near Okotoks, Alberta (“Big Rock”), where Alberta Geological Survey staff will discuss the glacial history of Alberta. The tour will also traverse a portion of the scenic “Cowboy Trail” located between the Rocky Mountains and the cattle ranching region of the Alberta Prairie.

The trip will leave from the conference hotel at 8am sharp, and will return at 5pm. Lunch will be provided, and all admission fees are included in the cost of the tour. Guidebook will be provided.

For references and more information, please visit:
Alberta geological survey early warning system
Frank Slide interpretive centre
Okatoks Erratic
Cowboy Trail

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