Covering a span of 158 kilometres, constructing Anchor Loop involved building a right-of-way through steep, rocky terrain with limited accessibility. The challenges included drilling under the Canadian National (CN) railroad and the Yellowhead Highway, the main east-west connector between Alberta and British Columbia. A project as complex as Anchor Loop required that the team exercise particular care to ensure all project details, big and small, were considered and addressed before, during and after construction.

The team’s biggest challenge was ensuring the environment was protected at every step. So the team took special precautions, such as undertaking construction through wetlands during the winter months when the ground was frozen, singularly focusing on each and every one of more than 120 unique river and stream crossings and monitoring water quality during all instream activity. Each crossing had to be approached correctly so the cumulative impact of changes to all the crossings and the surrounding watershed would be limited. The project’s largest stream crossing was the Athabasca River, east of the Jasper National Park town site. Beyond rivers and streams, the team also carefully considered the project’s impact on local wildlife, such as the Bighorn sheep, making every effort to limit the project’s potential impact on local ecosystems.

Construction of Anchor Loop was broken into two construction ‘spreads,’ beginning in August 2007 with the Jasper spread. This was followed by the Mount Robson spread, beginning in May 2008.