It was late on a Wednesday afternoon when we received a call from Robby’s Towing in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Their team required urgent service South of Fort McMurray on Highway 63 – there was a major rollover of a flatbed truck carrying a large concrete structure. Robby’s Towing had to send a crew to recover the rollover, a job that would require a major lane closure.
After gathering all the information from the client, our team immediately started working on an execution plan. To hoist the structure off the flatbed truck, we knew we had to fully close Highway 63 Southbound. In order to so, we would have to put a two-way-traffic setup in place for the northbound lanes. With limited crossovers to use for the traffic diversion, we had to start the closure on km marker 136 and extend it to km marker 142 – making the entire length of the closure a total of 8 kms.
Our teams worked quickly, knowing this job was urgent and the client needed immediate assistance. Pulling resources from our branch locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, we gathered our crew. The team included 5 experienced and knowledgeable Traffic Control Technicians, 3 ATS Lane Closure trucks and 2 Truck Mounted Attenuator Trucks. We sent the crew up to Mariana Lake (1 hour South of Fort McMurray) on Thursday afternoon and by 4:00am the following morning, the crew had begun the 8km set-up. By 9:00am, the entire lane closure set-up was complete.
In addition to the tight timeline, the crew was dealing with challenging circumstances. The road conditions were extremely poor, with a surplus of snow and ice. The temperature was hovering around -40 with the wind-chill.
“The conditions of this project were certainly not ideal, but our team’s ability to pull this off is a testament to a strong combination of knowledge and experience,” says Yasin Qasem, Traffic Control Supervisor for the ATS Edmonton branch. “These kinds of emergency traffic accommodation jobs require the right resources in order to execute a quick response, and our team was able to pull together and deliver!”
- 68 x Windmaster Sign Stands
- 16 x Sign Covers
- 50 x Channelizer Drums
- 20 x Two-Way IRS Systems
- 600 x Looper Delineator Tubes
- 16 x Max 50 Signs
- 4 x Max 80 Signs
- 1 x Ver-Mac Arrowboard
- 4 X Max 50 Ahead Signs
- 4 x Max 80 Aheaed Signs
- 4 x Construction Ahead Signs
- 8 x WD-116 Barricades (Left)
- 8 x WD-116 Barricades (Road Closed)
- 2 x End Construction Signs
- 4 x Men Working Signs
Video Footage of Closure
Two cranes were used to hoist the structure. The wind was high which made the process slower. The cranes were able to get the structure loaded onto another truck by 7:30pm that evening. The cranes, the truck and the workers departed the site at 8:00pm. After making sure that the road was clear, our crew removed the lane closure set up and opened all North and Southbound lanes that same evening.
Despite the short timeline and environmental challenges, the ATS crew was able to deliver the closure safely and on time – ensuring the client could complete the work safely while maintaining the safety of the traveling public on Highway 63.
“We had seen ATS Traffic trucks out on the road before, and when we had a job for which we didn’t have the right equipment, manpower or resources – we did a quick internet search and found their team. Our overall experience was positive – the ATS team was able to get the job done right and in a pinch. These situations are never easy, as things are constantly changing and oftentimes at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Given the challenging circumstances, the job went off without a hitch. We would definitely use ATS Traffic for similar jobs in the future!”