Construction Updates & Information


Information about ongoing construction projects in the community.

Sunset Ridge Siphon Installation

Project Information


What is the siphon project?

We are installing stormwater and wastewater siphons across the ravine east of Sunset View to service the future Pinnacle of Sunset Ridge development on the east side of the ravine. A siphon is used as part of a wastewater collection system to go under obstructions such as rivers or across areas like ravines. The siphon connects to the collection system on either side and uses the build-up of water pressure to push the water from the upstream end to the downstream end.


Why was the siphon option chosen? And how was the route determined?

We considered alternative options like a new storm pond and wastewater trunk within the valley during the Sunset Ridge Stage 2 Neighborhood Plan process. It was determined these options were not feasible due to their construction requirements and environmental impacts. Even though the siphon is not the most cost-effective option, it is the least disruptive to the natural environment. See Siphon Location Plan, below.


What did the Town of Cochrane look at when approving the siphon installation project?

The Town used the following principles to evaluate the project: Protection of an environmentally sensitive landscape – This area is widely recognized as both an important and pristine environmental landscape within Sunset Ridge, adjacent to the Cochrane Ranche. In accordance with the Cochrane Community Vision, these landscapes that characterize our community are to be preserved and protected. Therefore, Administration was unwilling to consider any proposals that did not protect this area, as well as the interests of our community and its residents. Reduced overall construction timeline & inconveniences to residents – With a 24-hour operation the project timeline for this construction would be reduced significantly from over 60 days to 30 days. Furthermore, by completing this work throughout the late winter and spring months, the area could be rehabilitated and restored for community use in the Spring of 2022.  Construction Best Practice – Understanding that it would not be possible to proceed with a more traditional construction trench for this infrastructure across a sensitive landscape, a 24-hour horizontal directional drilling procedure is proposed. This approach would minimize ground disturbance to a small area that would later be restored and that would ultimately deliver the required connections to support the future development of the southeast portion of Sunset Ridge. From an environmental and geotechnical perspective, the proposed directional drilling program is recognized as a best practice to minimize impacts to this area. Sunset Ridge Stage 2 Area Structure Plan (2012) – The sanitary and stormwater siphons proposed for construction were outlined in the Stage 2 ASP adopted by Council in 2012. For more information, please visit https://www.cochrane.ca/818/Neighbourhoods-documents-plans-maps. Recent Experience with the TC Energy Project – During the West Pathway Pipeline upgrade, a similar approach was utilized with sound attenuation fencing and a 24-hour drilling program. This project provided excellent results for our community with few disruptions or concerns. For more information about Town growth policies and plans visit https://www.cochrane.ca/820/Long-term-and-topic-specific-plans.

What are the construction plan and timelines?


Timeline Update: The 24-hour directional drilling timing has been delayed and is now expected to begin in early May.As a part of our due diligence process to begin the directional drilling, we are working with the contractor to work out some design details before the drilling begins. A positive result of these initial unforeseen delays is that we anticipate the 24-hour drilling portion of construction to be completed on a tighter overall drilling timeline than originally expected. Timelines will be shifting as a part of this process.  We will provide an updated schedule as soon as it is available. We appreciate your patience as we work through these start-up details.

Construction work began at the end of February for the siphon installation project. We have finished preparing the site and constructing access routes. Our estimated schedule has shifted due to crew availability and the pandemic. (Schedule is weather and conditions dependent.) (The following timeline has been updated as of April 20th, 2022)

Stage 1 – Construction of Access Routes and Site Preparation – CompleteWe will be constructing temporary roads to access the site. We chose these routes to minimize the disturbance to the environmental area and ensure safe access for workers. We will also be preparing the sites by adding erosion and sediment controls and installing the sound attenuation fencing.

Stage 2 – Trail Closures (limited reopening) – OngoingDuring this stage, temporarily restricted access and trail closures on both sides of the ravine will be in place for safety reasons. See the Trail Closure Plan, below. The trail in blue will remain open during construction. Limited reopening of trails will take place May 8.

Stage 3 – 24 Hour, 7 Days/Week Direction Drilling – Start April 11 (Delayed - estimated start is early May - updated timeline to follow as soon as it is confirmed)Drilling will occur on a 24-hour, 7 days/week basis to reduce the length of time required for construction, minimize disturbance to the ravine, and reduce the timing of the trail closures.

Stage 4 – Siphon Tie-in and Construction Completion – Start May 15 (Delayed)We will be tying in the new siphon, installing manholes, completing construction, and removing fencing.

Stage 5 – Rehabilitation of Areas to Natural State – Start May 26 (Delayed)At the end of construction, we will remove the temporary constructed roads. The west side of the ravine will be returned to its natural state using topsoil and seeded with a native seed mix. Melcor will maintain these areas until the Town considers restoration to be completed. Limited access to the area will be provided as per construction and safety requirements. New trails will be open by Fall of 2022 (weather dependent). See Trail Master Plan, below to view trail realignment. Other WorkMay 2022 – Grading will occur on the east side for future development of The Pinnacle community and erosion control measures will remain in place until development occurs.


What are you doing to reduce the impact on residents with 24-hour drilling and construction?

  • Sound Attenuation Fencing - Worksite locations will have a temporary, 16’ high sound attenuation fence installed to reduce construction noise and impact of lights. See Figure 1.0 – Sample of Sound Attenuation Fencing. See Temporary Sound Fence Installation, below. The sound attenuation fencing will reduce the noise from drilling to ~65 decibels outside the fencing. To put this into perspective, 60 decibels is like the noise of a normal conversation between two people sitting across from each other. A dishwasher is about 75 decibels and a hairdryer 80 decibels. The maximum sound level allowed by municipalities in the rear yards when backing onto major roads (highways) is 65 decibels.
  • Construction Traffic – All construction and drilling crews have been instructed to limit traffic to daytime hours. We require construction traffic to drive at slow speeds when using the access road, and dust will keep dust to a minimum using water trucks. Vehicles accessing the site at night will be no larger than a 1-ton truck.
  • Setbacks – The location of all work areas and access routes are away from the slope setback as determined by a geotechnical engineer. The location of the access route to the west drill site is close to the existing ravine fence line to minimize the impact and disturbance to the residents. The berms and slopes directly behind the existing homes will not be touched or impacted during construction.

Figure 1.0 - Sample of Sound Attenuation Fencing


What are you doing to protect the environment?

Temporary disturbances to the land and environment are required to access drilling sites. All drilling fluids used during the drilling operations are environmentally friendly. Erosion control measures will be in place to protect the existing natural terrain, and we will rehabilitate all work areas back to their original conditions.


What will happen to the bird houses?

A local resident has crafted birdhouses that are located along a fence which is the west boundary of our lands. These birdhouses are a unique feature to this area. It is our intention that these will remain in place. The barbed wire will be removed from the fence during the trail rehab work but the posts will remain in place along with the birdhouses.


How will the trail systems be impacted?

We are in the process of developing our new community, The Pinnacle Estates at Sunset Ridge. The lots for this community overlap with the current trail system located on private property and need to be realigned to the edge of the new community. To facilitate the realignment of the trail network, the trails will be closed in the area. Sunset Properties Inc. (managed by Melcor) is working with Bike Cochrane and the Town of Cochrane to create a formalized trail system that will realign trails for better connectivity, safety, and sustainability for residents to enjoy. Trail work is being undertaken as early as possible to allow for the reopening of trails for the summer months. Some will be realigned, and new trails will be added, along with additional lookout points and interpretive signage. For updates visit https://thepinnacleestates.com/trails/.


What pathway alternatives do I have?

The existing pathways within the environmental area between Ranche Rd and the construction area, and into the environmental reserve on the southeast side will remain open for use. See the Trail Closure Plan, below.


What public consultation has taken place?

Melcor hosted public engagement sessions for the servicing design as part of the approval process for the Sunset Ridge Stage 2 Neighborhood Plan. The construction and siphon installation project were part of this process.


Other work in the area

We have received questions about trucks spreading loam in a farmer’s field to the east of Sunset Ridge (behind Sundown View). This is not construction work related to development in Sunset Ridge and is not related to the Siphon project. The landowner is spreading loam on his property and will be doing so over the next couple of weeks. This will be completed no later than May 1.


Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about the project or area land development, please contact Ruth Price, Project Coordinator, Melcor Developments at 403-270-1288 or email rprice@melcor.ca. If you have any concerns about operations at the worksites, please contact Volker Stevin at 403-816-7831. Melcor Developments Ltd.

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Visual References & Maps

Trails Master Plan