at viau, we are well grounded

The Port of Montreal spearheaded a land recovery and reuse project that is positioning it as a pioneer in the field.

As high as four containers, the soil encapsulation mobile factory did not pass unnoticed.

Last fall, on the Viau sector work site, the soil encapsulation mobile factory did not pass unnoticed. As high as four containers, it swallowed up the crushed soils and mixed them with cement, which had the effect of consolidating them. The result was a thick, malleable material that was spread on the bottom of the excavated ground.

The aim of the operation was to solidify this area that covers close to nine hectares so it could accommodate containers. To be able to withstand the weight of containers piled three to four deep along with lifting equipment and trucks, the ground must be extremely stable. However, the ground in the Viau sector was too soft for us to solidify simply by compacting it. Normally, we would have extracted 44,000 metric tonnes of poor soil and replaced it with a noble soil made mainly of crushed stone that we would have brought in from a quarry.
The Port of Montreal turned to soil encapsulation instead. This new technique made it possible to reuse the 44,000 tonnes of bad soil extracted, to give it good solidity by mixing it with cement, and then re-deposit it at the bottom of the excavated hole.

By doing so, we saved a minimum of 170 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions!

Hugo Brassard, engineer and project manager, at the Port of Montréal.

How to save 170 tonnes of GHG

If we had opted for the traditional method of replacing poor soil with noble soil, we would have had to send the poor soil extracted to a technical landfill site. That would have taken 1,257 return trips by semi-trailer, which would have produced 85 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Transporting noble soil to the Viau sector would have produced just as much, for a total of 170 tonnes of GHGs.

That’s not all: we factored in the energy needed to extract and crush the noble soil at the quarry.

Through this soil recovery and reuse project, the Port of Montreal has emerged as a pioneer: “This is just the second project of its kind in Quebec,” proudly stated Hugo Brassard, engineer at the Port of Montreal.

An award for SNC Lavalin, a partner of the Port

In June, the Association québécoise du transport awarded a Grand Prize for excellence in transportation, Environment Category, to SNC-Lavalin, which partnered with the Port on this project.