May - September 2016 (Phase I), Spring 2017 (Phase II)
BAT Construction is currently working on the largest snow net installation in the Western Hemisphere. The project is located in the Glacier National Park and the work performed is for Parks Canada Agency. These snow nets reduce the risk of avalanches by stopping it at its source. Rows of snow nets are installed in the avalanche paths to prevent snow from starting to slide. The installation of the snow nets allows PCA to keep the highways open, whereas they’d typically need to perform scheduled closures and mitigate avalanche hazards by firing ordinance at the slide paths.
This ambitious project requires installing 2000m of snow nets within 6 months in a technically challenging area that pushes the established Swiss guidelines to the max. The complicated topography of the slide areas and high snow densities not only make this project the largest in the Western Hemisphere, but also the most technically challenging snow net project, of volume, in the world. Typically, 1000m of snow nets are installed in one season in projects in Europe, never 2000m of snow nets. To add to the challenge, snow net manufacturers are an ocean apart; presenting logistical challenges between design, manufacturing, delivery & installation in one season. The installation of snow nets in these slide areas allows regrowth both within the slide areas and down within the slide paths, allowing nature to reclaim areas that would otherwise be churned up by avalanches every year.
For an interesting perspective on the project, read the article from CLAC's website: "How Do You Stop an Avalanche before It Starts?"