Ensuring access for Canadian forestry operations with wet and weak resource roads

https://library.fpinnovations.ca/en/permalink/fpipub8044
Author
Gillies, Clayton
Thiam, Papa-Masseck
Bober, Francis
Bradley, Allan
Date
March 2021
Material Type
Research report
Field
Fibre Supply
Author
Gillies, Clayton
Thiam, Papa-Masseck
Bober, Francis
Bradley, Allan
Date
March 2021
Material Type
Research report
Physical Description
24 p.
Sector
Forest Operations
Field
Fibre Supply
Research Area
Transportation Infrastructure
Subject
Forestry
Roads
Road construction
Planning
Water
Series Number
Technical Report TR 2021 N26
Language
English
Abstract
Forest operations across Canada are encountering increasingly difficult road conditions and more frequent access interruptions related to wet and weak road sections. Resource roads are considered a liability by many forest companies and their business model has been to create the lowest cost, lowest standard, resource road network possible that also will provide tolerable levels of access (i.e., some but not too many failures and hauling disruptions). Increasingly difficult operating conditions and frequent access interruptions, however, drive up costs and threaten the economic sustainability of forest operations. Starting in 2017, FPInnovations has launched a project to provide its members with techniques and strategies that will offer more reliable and strong road sections and reduce overall road costs. A state-of-practice survey of FPInnovations members provided researchers with a comprehensive understanding of conventional means of responding to wet, weak road conditions in Canada. The report summarizes the responses to wet, weak resource road sections that were identified in the state-of-practice survey and provides an overview of the chief causes and related site indicators for wet, weak road conditions. Recommended best practices are provided for a variety of conventional industry responses to wet, weak road sections. These address common misconceptions and knowledge gaps that reduce the effectiveness and increase the overall cost associated with the industry responses. These best practice recommendations were based upon findings from a literature review, product manufacturer information, and from researcher expertise. The report also considers improvements to conventional practices, and advanced solutions that are potentially more effective and economic than the state-of-practice but are not widely exploited by industry. Eleven potential solutions from these two categories were compared and ranked in order of potential. The practice improvements selected for further study were soil compaction, and corduroy and access mats. The advanced solutions selected for further study were geosynthetics that offer both soil reinforcement and enhanced drainage, geocells, and TPCS, a technology to improve truck road-friendliness. Starting in 2021, FPInnovations will initiate field trials and life cycle cost analyses of these technologies.
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