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Cormode & Dickson recently completed a Solar Titan Compressor Station for TransCanada Pipeline. The project took place 180 km outside of Manning, AB, in the middle of nowhere on the Chinchaga Forestry Road. If you’re unfamiliar with the Chinchaga Forestry Road here’s a little information. It begins on the western side of the Peace River Parkland, and extends to the Alaska Highway in British Columbia. The road passes through the boreal forest biome, which offers the perfect habitat for wolverines, otter, moose, wolves, caribou and one of the healthiest populations of grizzly bears. The black bear also thrives in this biome. Interesting and exciting from a distance, yes, but up close and personal, not so much. So in order to keep workers safe, a bear fence was erected around the entire job site right off the bat. The fence also served as protection from other nasties, like wolves.

The boreal forest biome is also noted for the swamp lands, or muskegs, that cover the grounds during summer and fall. These swampy conditions presented yet another challenge for the Cormode & Dickson workforce. Heavy machinery doesn’t go far when it’s stuck in a swamp! Therefore it was necessary to install two layers of mud mats before any construction could take place.

What are mud mats, you ask? Well, contrary to popular belief, they are not the mats you wipe your muddy boots off on before entering your house. Surprised? Yeah, me too. The particular mud mats used at the Hidden Lake site were there to cover the soft soggy ground in order to give trucks and other vehicles a solid surface upon which to drive. The mats also supported heavy equipment as well as giving the workers a more inviting surface upon which to work.


Due to the remote location of the Hidden Lake site, this was necessarily a camp job with the 200 plus workforce living on site for over a year. Their work schedule consisted of 15 days of work followed by 6 days off. The Cormode Construction Management Team well understood the challenges each worker faced—far from the comforts of home, working in harsh conditions.

The compressor station was a $35,000,000 project. It was the C&D warrior spirit that saw it through to completion. Through mud and swamps, against bears and wolves, the Solar Titan Turbine Compressor Station stands proudly as part of the TransCanada Pipeline.