July 20, 2015 2:01 pm
Updated: July 20, 2015 8:09 pm

Bridge girders over Groat Road weren’t properly braced: City of Edmonton


WATCH ABOVE: The City of Edmonton is blaming a subcontractor for the buckled girders on the 102 Avenue Bridge. Fletcher Kent has more on the city’s investigation and when the bridge is expected to re-open. 

EDMONTON — An investigation into what went wrong with the 102 Avenue Bridge has found the girders were not properly braced during construction.

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Three of the girders mysteriously buckled on March 16, which forced the closure of a portion of Groat Road for several weeks as crews worked to stabilize the structure.

There was previous speculation that the wind played a role in bending the girders; however, it’s been determined that the wind played no role whatsoever in the situation.

Monday morning, the City of Edmonton’s manager of Roads Design and Construction said the subcontractor hired by the construction company, Graham Group, misinterpreted the bracing requirements between the last four girders.

Barry Belcourt said both permanent and temporary braces were used and there “probably should have been more permanent bracing than temporary.”

“The proper sequencing and the proper bracing at the right time wasn’t followed to the 100 percentile and therefore we had a failure,” said Belcourt.

“There shouldn’t be a lot of room for misinterpretation, but at the end of the result that’s what it was.”

READ MORE: Progress being made on buckled girders over Groat Road

The $32-million project was originally scheduled to be complete by September 2015, but the city said the opening date is now more likely to be the summer or fall of 2016.

Belcourt said the city has developed a plan with the contractor to get the bridge finished in decent time because delay adds costs.

“After Sept. 30, for every day (that’s) approximately $11,500 per day,” Belcourt said at an update Monday. “There’s transit detour costs that are built in … obviously the longer it takes a contractor to work, it’s going to cost us more engineering time. There’s city staff time and there’s site occupancy.”

The bent girders were removed, repaired and have been reinstalled. The city said the repaired girders have passed all required inspections and the bridge structure has been deemed safe to resume construction.

With much work to be done, the city said construction crews are working upwards of 17 hours per day, seven days a week to complete the project.

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News and The Canadian Press. 

© 2015 Shaw Media

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