Pipelines and other linear infrastructure are are important means of transportation and transmission of products and energy. Safe design, construction and operation of pipelines and linear infrastructure across a range of geologic terrains requires an understanding of interactions between the infrastructure, construction and operation activities, and the natural environment. Geological/geotechnical engineering aspects of pipeline and linear infrastructure projects include route characterization, geohazard assessment, geotechnical quantities estimation, detailed engineering design, mitigation, and monitoring. While the majority of large-diameter pipelines are buried, some segments of pipelines may be built above-ground to cross specific features, such as geologic faults. Electric transmission systems, by contrast, are typically built above ground and are subject to different potential loading mechanisms. Geotechnical engineering issues associated with highway and railway transportation systems include route selection, field characterization, tunnel and slope stability, and associated instrumentation and monitoring. Project examples relating to pipelines and linear infrastructure are listed here (projects shown in italics involved Dr. Rod Read but were not conducted by RSRead Consulting Inc.).
Above-ground crossing at the Denali Fault, Trans Alaska Pipeline System, Alaska
Mt. Shaughnessy Tunnel, Rogers Pass, British Columbia, Canada