Why Pile Driving is a Powerful First Step for Massey Bridge

If you’ve driven north on Highway 99 towards the George Massey Tunnel lately, you may have noticed a crane working on Deas Island.

Crews were collecting geotechnical data as part of the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project. The crane was equipped with a large pile driver, which pounded five piles into the ground to determine the maximum load a single pile can hold in that particular soil.

The information will be provided to designers bidding on the contract to build the new bridge to replace the tunnel. The new bridge will be built to modern seismic standards and improve highway safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from unnecessary idling, and save rush-hour commuters up to 30 minutes a day. When completed, it will be the largest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Watch (and hear) the force needed to drive these piles 60 metres into the ground. It’s pretty amazing.

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  1. Hi there, completely unrelated the post… but I was wondering if you could tell me what sort of courses to take in post secondary if I wanted to work on the traffic lights and signs in BC? The first thing that comes to mind would be an electrical course but I was wondering what else I would need.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for your comment and your interest in traffic engineering!

      For the most part our traffic signing and signal operation processes are handled by Civil Engineers. Within civil engineering there is the ability to take transportation engineering specific courses, however it is not necessary to be that specialized to get into the Ministry’s EIT program and be part of the transportation section. Most municipalities use Civil Technologist to handle their signing and signal operation, with the department overviewed by an engineer.

      Some technologist (or traffic signal and signing specialist) come up through the system with no technical training, other than on the job training. BCIT, or similar have good technology programs in civil. While civil engineers time the signals and choose the signals field operation, it is electrical engineers who design the electrical part of the signals operation.

      Here are some links for more information:




      We hope this helps answer your question!