Binnie Construction Services Ltd. was retained during the construction of the $13 million Highway 33 Big White Southbound Passing Lane. The project uncovered several archaeological finds in the Okanagan area. Paul Shul, a Binnie staff member (formerly with the Ministry of Transportation) supervised the project from 2013 to 2015.
The project involved the reconstruction of three kilometres of Highway 33, the addition of a passing lane, construction of a segment of Big White Road, relocation and construction of the Highway 33/Big White Road intersection, addition of a left turn bay, northbound acceleration and deceleration lanes, and the construction of new winter maintenance facilities.
Paul Shul was the Ministry Representative for the construction phase of the project. He served as the single point of contact between the Ministry, the project team, stakeholders, and the construction contractor. Paul was responsible for overseeing construction and represented the Ministry in all matters related to the contract including its administration and enforcement, quality management and communications.
As they were clearing the land, contractors discovered lithic fragments, which are evidence of habitation, signs that First Nations people had been making hunting tools in the area. The Okanagan Indian Band and Westbank First Nations were brought onto the project to monitor and conduct the digs, causing extended delays in the design excavations.
Over the two-year project, the team faced many unforeseen challenges, including archaeological finds, a FortisBC lockout, and discovery of PAG rock, potentially acid-producing rock. Binnie was honoured with the Deputy Minister’s Award for Construction Management and Supervision for this project.
Being nominated for recognition at this level is very humbling. It quickly brings to mind all of the things that you would have liked to do better!
– Paul Shul