Client: Claude Resources Inc., Seabee Gold
ENGCOMP was commissioned by Claude Resources
Inc (CRI) to design a bridge using two decommissioned flat deck
rail cars. The bridge was installed across Monroe Creek to gain
access from their Seabee Gold Processing Facility to the newly
developed Santoy Gold Mine. Ore supply from the Santoy Mine assures
the continued viability of the mill processing facility at Seabee.
Click to view larger photos of this project
This project provided many engineering, logistical,
budget, and scheduling challenges. The rail cars themselves had
significant damage and deterioration that had to be addressed;
the framing system used to make up the cars is unconventional
when it comes to use within a bridge-type structure, and significant
structural upgrades were required in order to carry the loads
for the intended use.
Completed in 12 months from start of engineering
to completion of construction, this innovative design provides
a practical, cost-effective solution that safely meets the requirements
of CRI, the highway bridge code, and the Department of Fisheries
- Ongoing exploration by CRI uncovered significant
gold deposits (Santoy Mine) at a remote location from the Seabee
Gold Processing Facility, 150 km northeast of La Ronge (Saskatchewan,
- Access to this mine requires crossing Monroe
- Discussions with the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans (DFO) concluded that a bridge was required to make
the crossing in order to protect the spawning habitat of Monroe
- CRI hauled two decommissioned flat-deck rail
cars to the site in the winter of 2004/2005 on the ice roads.
- ENGCOMP's initial mandate was to evaluate
the rail cars for strength and provide recommendations on the
viability of using them for the bridge.
- The results of this phase were that even
though the cars required a significant amount of work, it was
feasible to use them for the bridge construction.
- The design process included the use of 3D
CAD modeling tools and 3D structural analysis software in order
to execute the complex engineering project.
- Design for CAT 773B 50 Tonne Capacity Mine
Haul Truck. Total design load = 260,000 lbs unfactored.
- Design the abutments to accommodate a 2m
clearance between the bridge and the high water line in order
to allow for canoeists to pass under unobstructed.
- Use the existing salvaged rail cars as the
main support structure for the bridge.
- Meet the requirements of CAN/CSA S6-00 Canadian
Highway Bridge Code.
- Many design options were considered, and
changes to the design criteria were made to minimize budget
and optimize schedule.
- First site visit in June 2005, to assess
the condition of the rail cars.
- The final installation was complete 12 months
from start of engineering, with gaps in between to accommodate
- The bridge was opened for use with light
vehicles within seven months of the project start, allowing
personnel and exploration equipment access to the mine site
through the winter.
- CRI is satisfied with the installation
- The bridge was operating several months
sooner than if the rail cars were not used for the construction
since new materials would have needed to be hauled in over the
- Met the requirements of the DFO.
- Was awarded the 2006 Brian Eckel Award of
Excellence by the Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan.
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