The North Shore Mountains in Vancouver’s lower mainland are synonymous with West Coast living. But as more development occurs in the areas that surround these majestic hills, traffic congestion is as an unfortunate by-product.

In order to help alleviate this, regional planners have begun an ambitious project that will see the highway leading down through the North Shore and into the city of Vancouver widened to add extra traffic lanes in both directions.

As one could imagine, carving into an existing iconic mountain landscape to accommodate the highway widening involved significant environmental considerations. One of these considerations was the erection of a very long and tall retaining wall that would be highly visible to anyone travelling the highway in either direction. The planners did not want this wall to become a visually unpleasant eyesore that would undermine the natural beauty of the surrounding physical environment.

Shotcrete to the rescue!

   

Using structural shotcrete combined with aesthetically pleasing rock carving techniques, Torrent was able to construct a wall that met the uncompromising structural requirements the planners insisted upon while creating a beautiful boulder-scape that fit in perfectly with the natural mountain surroundings.

This particular wall is unique in that the rock carving required a very significant depth of shotcrete to achieve the artistic level of finishing desired. This was the deepest relief wall carving that Torrent had ever worked on. The average depth of shotcrete for a rock carving wall is 50 ml whereas the Mountain Highway carving requirements would call for up to 70 ml.

Torrent’s highly skilled team was more than up to the challenge and the finished product far exceeded all expectations with the wall looking like a natural component of the mountain landscape.

     

Due to the overwhelming positive response to the visual appeal and structural quality achieved in this project, we believe that this will become the standard for the future of rock-carved walls throughout British Columbia.

Form and function are just two of the many benefits of the science and art of shotcrete. Torrent is leading the way in shotcrete innovation in Canada as an ever-growing number of architects, planners and developers discover the flexibility and boundless possibilities of structural shotcrete.

Torrent Shotcrete. More wall. Every Day.