Situated in eastern Canada, the Gulf of St Lawrence opens onto the Atlantic Ocean. In the county of Sept-Rivieres in the Northeast of Quebec province, the town of Port-Cartier, 640 km from Quebec City and on the north shore of the St Lawrence river, launched a waterfront improvements program to attract shoreline residents and visitors to the town.

Renovation against all odds
As part of the project Reinforced Earth Canada (RECo) was contacted to renovate a timber jetty supporting a walkway and cycle path alongside the Rivière aux Rochers park. The former timber structure and walkway/cycle path were to be replaced by a seawall and riverside park. This project, performed under difficult climatic conditions (water level variations of around 2.25 m due to the tides, hydraulic load, submerged walls, the river current alongside the walls, exposure to wind) and in a marine environment (salt water) presented a real challenge for our teams.

A first in Canada
To meet the various constraints, RECo Canada constructed 1017 m² of 3.5 m high Reinforced Earth walls using TerraClass® facing together with 4 m long GeoStrap® reinforcing strips via the intermediary of GeoMega® connectors. This was the first use of this system in a marine environment in Canada. Large rocks already present on the site served as foundation material. For drainage, a filter backfill was used combined with a suitable geotextile. Reduced water pressure was achieved thanks to the use of draining backfill enabling rapid run-off as the water rises. 20 mm joints between panels ensure the draining capacity of the reinforced backfill. In addition and to ensure protection against erosion, our teams embedded the base of the wall 1 metre more than the norm. To meet the very tight timescale for this project, our teams worked 24/7 during two weeks.

Success thanks to a suitable planning
RECo Canada rose to the challenge thanks to innovative design appropriate for submerged structures in a saline environment, provision of a drainage and erosion protection system and a production schedule taking account of climatic constraints.

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