Uranium city culvert headwall, Uranium City, Sask., Canada

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Courtesy of Presto Geosystems

In the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, Highway 962 services the remote northern community of Uranium City. Uranium City is located in the extreme northwestern cor-ner of Saskatchewan, north of Lake Athabasca, 30 mi. (48.3 km) south of the border of the Northwest Territories. The city was developed and named as a result of a significant uranium deposit that was first explored in 1946.

At one point, Highway 962 crosses the Fredette River. The wood bridge deck and abutments that had been in service some 40 years were in serious distress. The north abutment was sliding to the south and the deck required complete replacement. Ground access to Highway 962 is limited and very expensive, as there are no permanent roads linking the highway with the rest of Canada. Ice roads are available during winter, or materials may be hauled via barge in the early summer.

A number of replacement options were considered for the bridge. A conventional girder-on-abutment bridge would have re-quired that heavy construction equipment, such as pile drivers, remain on site for twelve months. This requirement made that option prohibitively expensive.

The Saskatoon branch of Armtec Con-struction Products was approached regard-ing an alternative solution. Jim McGeary, the company's Saskatchewan supervisor, was invited to visit the site, along with Department of Highways personnel to discuss possible corrugated steel pipe solutions. Due to environmental and hydraulic concerns, a full-periphery corrugated steel structure was ruled out.

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