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BRT work stoppage talks continue with Manitoba Hydro, but who is to blame remains unclear

Click to play video: 'BRT work stoppage talks continue with Manitoba Hydro, but who is to blame remains unclear' BRT work stoppage talks continue with Manitoba Hydro, but who is to blame remains unclear
WATCH: While progress is being made to lift a stop work order on the Southwest Transitway, who is to blame for the issues remains unclear. Global's Brittany Greenslade reports – Aug 16, 2018

It’s been eight days since Manitoba Hydro halted work along a portion of the Southwest Transitway and yet, so far, no one wants to admit fault.

Hydro, PCL Construction and the City of Winnipeg are working to resolve issues after Hydro issued a stop work order on Aug. 8, forcing work to halt along two portions of the rapid transit corridor.

READ MORE: Manitoba Hydro issues stop work order on $500M bus rapid transit project

“(There’s) no big change,” Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said Thursday. “But there is movement.”

The work stop order affects construction on a portion of the line just north of McGillivray Boulevard all the way south to Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

Manitoba Hydro raised concerns about work that was happening on site, saying it was not in line with the proposal they signed off on and wasn’t being done safely.

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Construction cars and vehicles was found parked under transmission towers, dirt and gravel was piled underneath transmission lines and in some areas the footing of the towers had been excavated.

“Discussions continue on several issues, including on excavation work and work the on the pathway. On these, our transmission and civil design department are still reviewing plans submitted to us in July,” Owen said Thursday.

“On unauthorized parking, a temporary agreement has been signed so no vehicles park in vicinity of the transmission towers.”

However, who is to blame for the apparent “variances” in plans is still unclear.

PCL deferred all questions to the City of Winnipeg and did not respond to a follow-up email.

“We’re still looking into it,” City of Winnipeg Project Manager Jesse Crowder said Thursday. “We’re still reviewing it.”

But when the project manager was asked if PCL followed the plans or if someone had changed the plans without notifying Hydro he refused to answer.

READ MORE: Manitoba Hydro approves sale of rapid transit deal for $19M

The portion of the project in question falls in Coun. John Orlikow’s ward and he said updates on the project are provided monthly.

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“We’ll find out what happened. Was it a mis-aligning somehow, was it the contractor, was it somewhere in the lease agreement,” Orlikow said. “We’ll find that out, but the key right now is to work together to resolve it and move forward.”

Mayor Brian Bowman said the most important issue at the moment is resolving the dispute and making sure everyone on site is safe.

“We want to ensure the safety of the workers is paramount,” Bowman said. “We want to make sure that when people are working, that they’re safe and that they are able to return safely home to their families.”

It could be two weeks before all of the issues are rectified and the stop order is lifted, said Hydro. The city maintains it will not affect the overall time and budget of the project, which are both on schedule.

“It’s a small part of the project,” Crowder said, “in terms of the overall 7.6 kms and the work that’s going on and all the structures and all the work on the transitway. We see it as an impact but again, it’s not a stop to the entire project.”

WATCH: Manitoba Hydro halted work saying the activity that is currently taking place does not fall in line with the initial project proposal it signed off on

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Hydro issues stop work order on $500M bus rapid transit project' Manitoba Hydro issues stop work order on $500M bus rapid transit project
Manitoba Hydro issues stop work order on $500M bus rapid transit project – Aug 15, 2018

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