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Quartz Creek Bridge Replacement Project

Owner: BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure  |  Golden, BC


About the Project

The Quartz Creek Replacement Project was initiated by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure as part of the province’s commitment to accelerate four-laning of the highway in conjunction with the National Highway Policy Strategy. The Ministry’s goal was to create a safe, reliable, and high-speed route from Kamloops to the Alberta Border.

The aging two-lane bridge had poor roadway geometry and limited traffic volume capacity. To address this challenge, a 5.2 kilometers of four-laning and a 180 meters bridge across Quartz Creek was designed and constructed. The highway design evaluation included consideration of fills with culvert rehabilitation versus a 110 meters long bridge to cross Wiseman Creek which is at the bottom of a deep gully. The fill option was selected as providing the most net benefit for the project even while requiring development of a challenging highway design with additional drainage features to mitigate frost heave concerns.

The valley’s steep, bedrock-exposed walls are highly susceptible to weathering and were found to be structurally weak, posing significant challenges for accessibility and new construction. Two active slope failures were also identified near the new bridge site. To overcome these obstacles, Stantec led the multi-discipline design team, which included bridge, geotechnical, hydrotechnical and specialty-structural subconsultants, to evaluate several bridge options with varying span arrangements. The multidisciplinary design team used sophisticated software for the civil and structural design, including AutoCAD Civil3D, CSI Bridge, and SAP2000. Working closely with our geotechnical sub-consultant, the project team determined the optimal pier foundation locations to provide structural capacity as well as long-term durability. The preferred alignment, which improves safety and traffic capacity, is downstream of the existing crossing which allowed for construction to take place without traffic interference.


The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is accelerating four-laning projects along the Trans-Canada Highway 1 as part of their commitment to the National Highway Policy Strategy. The Quartz Creek Bridge, which carries a portion of Highway 1 across a deep valley on the approach to Rogers Pass, was at the end of its useful life.

The old bridge had poor roadway geometry and limited traffic capacity. Replacement on the existing alignment was not an option. After reviewing upstream and downstream alignments the team selected a new alignment downstream from the old site to provide a safer highway with better traffic capacity. The valley itself provided other challenges: steep, bedrock-exposed walls that are highly susceptible to weathering and very weak structurally made construction difficult and required novel foundation solutions. Two active slope failures were also identified near the new bridge site.

To overcome these obstacles, our team evaluated several bridge options on the new alignment with varying span arrangements. Working with our geotechnical staff, the optimal pier foundation locations were finalized, and the balance of foundation, substructure, and superstructure costs were optimized to provide an economical solution. The selected option is a 180-metre symmetrical three-span steel I-girder bridge. The lightweight structure allowed the bridge to be launched into place, a construction method that results in time and budget savings.


The new Quartz Creek Bridge was completed with traffic diverted to it in November 2023. The new crossing provides an improved, high speed, and high capacity segment for the Trans-Canada Highway. The design accounted for future increased traffic and projected environmental effects due to climate change. The construction phase considered current environmental requirements, reducing and mitigating the effect on the surrounding terrain.

    Service(s) Provided
    • Structural engineering
    • Conceptual and detailed design
    • Coordinating the specialty-structural, hydrotechnical, and geotechnical design subconsultants
    • Preparation of tender documents and cost estimates
    • Engineering support services
    • Stantec also acted as Coordinating Professional for the project

    Project Team (Consultants)
    Golder Associates
    ERD Structural Engineering

    Project Team (Contractors )


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