Directional Drilling

Western Alberta System Mainline Loop Rocky View Section

Western Alberta System Mainline Loop Rocky View Section


Cochrane, AB




Horizontal Directional Drilling Pipe-side support


Michels Canada built 21km of 42-inch natural gas pipeline on the Rocky View section of the Western Alberta System Mainline Loop (WASML). The project used mainly conventional pipeline construction techniques with the pipe placed 1.2 metres below grade in an urban area. Two sections were completed by Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). One 649m crossing under the planned Springbank Reservoir was about 32m below grade and 17.5m below the bottom of the proposed reservoir channel. The second 1,039m crossing under the Bow River was about 51 metres beneath the river bottom.

During peak construction, about 600 people were involved in effort. Due to native grasses and other environmental concerns, crews installed nearly 11,000 wooden access mats along extensive sections of right-of-way to facilitate the movement of heavy construction equipment. A sound wall was installed on the entry side of the Bow River HDD to mitigate noise in a populated area.