Haul Road Design for a Mine Development Strategy


In 2014 Terracon was engaged to design a mine haul road. The engineering design is to provide access and support the long-term mine development plan for up to 80 years. The primary goal was for the road to serve safely and efficiently the mining operations for as long as possible with minimum maintenance and addressing all constraints.


The challenges in developing a safe haul road design stem from a number of elements and constraints such as time and space limitations; aesthetic and environmental compliances; and hurdles involving difficult terrain, structural features and geotechnical conditions at the mine site. All of these elements were addressed while engineering the road design. For example, the design was spatially limited by parkland and an important historical landmark. In addition, the vertical gain in elevation is very significant when compared to the horizontal limits. Being in close proximity to a settlement, the solution also required local social acceptance of the project.


General view of the mine face

This long term haul road was designed for an operating facility where the mine face had already achieved maximum safe slope angles. In some areas of the quarry, slope angles have already exceeded safe operating conditions leading to the development of failures and no access ‘red zones’. Engineering of the road design was separated into segments with options being evaluated for each segment. The optimal design for the road segments was based on geological, geotechnical and engineering parameters. Reviewing the major design options in the process with our client ensured that we met all their requirements.


Drawing on Terracon Geotechnique’s professional multidisciplinary experience this design was developed as a responsible environmental, safe geotechnical and economically viable project. As a result, in addition to remediation of the critical red zones, the relative volume of the haul road design was limited to 15 percent of the total excavated ore.


This engineered road design is not only in compliance with all safety requirements from both Canadian and US regulatory bodies but also features a very low average grade, flat and wide safe turns, escape lanes, an abundance of built-in safety features and meets all other social and aesthetic/environmental constraints.


This project is a solid example of our Terracon commitment to always meet and exceed our clients’ needs and expectations.