Rugged Terrain Requires Reliable Equipment In Rebuilding BC Roads

19 June 2023

As seasons change, larger swings in temperature have caused dramatic weather events in Western Canada. In November of 2021, flooding devastated much of British Columbia’s south coast and interior, resulting in the complete shutdown of important transportation routes.

One of the hardest hit areas was Highway 8 in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District which connects Spences Bridge and Merritt. Flood water, as a result of an atmospheric river, washed away large sections of the highway, leaving many residents and Indigenous communities completely isolated.

Restoration of this roadway required close collaboration between the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, contractors, and suppliers. Quattro Constructors were one of the teams working to reconstruct highway grades and temporary access roads, reinforce bridge abutments, modify river channels, install temporary bridges, and remove debris.

Watch: How Finning Supports Quattro's Road Rebuilding

The nature of the landscape within the region made for difficult working conditions. Teams were faced with a single way in and a single way out to access hardest-hit areas. This, paired with the rugged, hard-rock terrain, meant that equipment needed to be incredibly reliable. As a result, Quattro contacted Finning to advise on equipment options that would perform in these unique site conditions.

“When Quattro got called out to repair Highway 8 after the flood, Finning was the first call,” comments Gary Sigsworth, General Line Sales at Finning. “We discussed what they needed, they bought a half-dozen pieces of equipment then and it has just expanded since then.”

Of particular note, Finning supplied Quattro with multiple high-productivity Cat 336 Excavators and Cat D8 Dozers, equipped with Trimble technology to allow for greater accuracy during earthmoving and grading.

“If we needed parts, they arrived as quickly as possible,” states Rick Morrison, President of Quattro Constructors. “The equipment we had on site was extremely reliable. And, that was truly the need—equipment that we knew would match the conditions.”

Nearly one year after being destroyed by floods, Highway 8 reopened, providing a vital link between residents and Indigenous communities who rely on the road for services and supplies. It took crews like Quattro’s working seven days a week on a rotational schedule to achieve the feat.

“From the first day of the atmospheric river, people have gone above and beyond to help us to reach this important milestone,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We all owe a huge debt of gratitude for the impressive work that crews and staff have done to reconnect the people and communities along Highway 8.”

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.