Early Works – Grubbing and Topsoil Removal

Amico Infrastructures Inc., on behalf of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), has begun its Early Works construction activities to prepare the Canadian Port of Entry for the new Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

There are three components to Early Works:

  • construction of a Perimeter Access Road (PAR)
  • utility relocation
  • the placement of fill, grading and drainage.

Early Works construction is expected to be complete by December 31, 2016.

Several geotechnical soil improvement techniques will be utilized to prepare the Canadian Port of Entry to ensure that the buildings, roadways, parking lots, as well as bridge ramps and bridge piers have a solid base on which they can be built. Grubbing and removal of topsoil are two of the first techniques to be undertaken to prepare the site.

The entire Canadian Port of Entry will undergo grubbing. Grubbing requires a specialized tool called a ripper, which is attached to the rear of a bulldozer. The tool has several blades that are lowered into the ground to a depth of approximately 75 centimetres. As the bulldozer moves forward, the blades break up the soil and remove any tree stumps and roots found in the ground. All tree roots and stumps are loaded into dump trucks and taken away.

Next the topsoil is removed. Bulldozers push the topsoil from the site into piles called wind-rows. An excavator then loads the pile of topsoil into dump trucks to be hauled away.

Bulldozer removing topsoil at the Canadian Port of EntryBulldozer removing topsoil at the Canadian Port of Entry

Grubbing and the removal of topsoil will ensure that the 53-hectare site is free of any unstable organic material. In total, approximately 90,000 cubic metres of topsoil, the equivalent to 8000 dump truck loads, will be removed from the Canadian Port of Entry site. Once grubbing and topsoil removal is complete, the site
will be covered with a variety of fill ranging in thickness from half a metre to five metres, and if required, up to nine metres.

To see these soil improvement techniques underway, visit our website at www.wdbridge.com and click on the WDBA YouTube channel to view the video titled Grubbing and Topsoil Removal.

Learn more about the Early Works activities at www.wdbridge.com/en/early-works.

For more information about the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and the Gordie Howe International Bridge project visit www.wdbridge.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WDBAbridge, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WDBAbridge and connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/wdba-apwd.