Access Granted in Buffalo Creek: A Trailer from Paradox

By Taylor Doll
Taylor Doll
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In a remote northern corridor of Alberta, Paradox worked around the clock to build an 11-kilometre access road for a large North American energy company. And this wasn’t your typical road build—this road needed to be built across extremely challenging terrain, made up largely of muskeg in a sensitive wetland area.

“To do a conventional road build here you would have to excavate an incredible amount of material. I don’t even think it’s possible, because how do you get out there with equipment to excavate that material?” says Eric Ludwig, Project Manager at Paradox Access Solutions.

In the months leading up to this, we worked with geotechnical engineering partner and geosynthetics experts—Stratum Logics, the team that would design engineer the project with us—from start to finish. Stratum’s expertise in designing with Tough Cell technology, combined with Paradox’s mastery of deploying this unique NPA geocell product in roadbuilding projects, is what made it possible to bring this project to life—a feat unlikely to succeed with conventional roadbuilding technologies and methodologies.

“With our methods and with our materials, we can start at the edge and just start building a road and pushing it out in front of us.” —Eric Ludwig, Project Manager, Paradox Access Solutions

A huge obstacle that had to be overcome was not just building a road over swampy muskeg but doing so amid record seasonal rainfall. “A big challenge for sure has been the weather,” says Ludwig. “We’ve had almost max rainfall as far back as they’ve been tracking.”

Nonetheless, we rose to the challenge, having worked in these conditions many times before. As Christina Schroff, Health & Safety Manager at Paradox, puts it: “Labourers are the backbone of this job. I don’t believe people know what it takes, number one, to do a job this size and, number two, to be so far away from civilization. Without our labourers, this wasn’t possible because not everybody can do it.”

As always, the environmental integrity of the project was our utmost priority.

“With road construction being one of the major activities in North America’s construction industry, requiring a huge amount of costly and finite resources, the environmental footprint—and the importance of reducing that footprint—is paramount.” Marc Breault, President, Paradox Access Solutions

But to build this road, we first needed to gain access. And we’re excited to show you how we did it.

Stay tuned for the full Buffalo Creek mini documentary premiering later this spring! And in the meantime, discover the possibilities of building your next road with Tough Cell with our FREE digital resource.

Download our free road-building fact sheet

Originally published April 24, 2020, updated April 24, 2020

Topics: Access Roads, Soil Stabilization

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