Sturgeon County wins Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation for work with geocells 

Transportation & Engineering Services department uses innovative thinking to solve a problem 

Sturgeon County’s work with geocells has been recognized with the Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation in the Design Innovation category. 

Geocells, which act as a reinforcing grid, are used to make the ground more stable. They were used in a portion of the 4.1 kilometre road rehabilitation project along Township Road 544 near Range Road 260 and the ProNorth Industrial Park, constructed in 2022. 

“This is an innovative solution that improves our infrastructure and demonstrates the County’s commitment to cost-effective solutions,” said Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. 

Sturgeon County partnered with Paradox Access Solutions, Stratum Logics, and a team from the University of Victoria to approve the use of geocells in the road base. Since construction finished in 2022, teams from the University of Victoria and Stratum Logics have been gathering data from in-ground sensors to monitor traffic and track temperatures. 

The Problem

During construction, the County discovered that a 1.3 kilometre section of Township Road 544 had unsuitable wet soils and deeper excavation would be needed if traditional road construction methods were used. This would have created a much larger disturbance, likely extending beyond the County road right of way. 

The data shows that we are experiencing more freeze-thaw cycles and confirms that areas with geocells are successfully draining water. This means there will be less damage to the road from freezing and thawing, and there will be less road maintenance needed in the years ahead. 

The award was announced March 11 in Edmonton at the Transportation Connects Alberta conference. 

Sturgeon County uses geocells in a number of its road projects, where appropriate. 

#SturgeonCounty offices will be operating with reduced hours May 17, to accommodate a staff training event. Offices will re-open from 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Fire Advisory: Due to dry conditions and a lack of precipitation, a fire advisory is now in effect for Sturgeon County as of April 3. 

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