Inspections and maintenance work on the Gardiner to address falling debris under the expressway is expected to last another month, according to the city.
The city began sending in inspection and repair crews last week to repair problem areas of the Gardiner Expressway that have led to slabs of concrete falling underneath.
“All the major intersections and walkways were inspected by the end of the weekend or early Monday morning,” said John Bryson, Toronto’s manager of structures and expressways.
All the problem areas that needed immediate work done were sealed off temporarily, typically for a couple of hours, while the crews performed maintenance work. Bryson said no major block offs took place.
The visual inspections of pedestrian areas were finished by Thursday followed by chipping operations with four crews working around the clock to seal off the areas that needed work.
The city plans to have all inspections and maintenance work done in about a month. “All we’re going to do is speed up the process which normally takes six weeks and we’re hoping to reduce all the chipping down to about four to five weeks,” said Bryson.
“We have a contract going out to do some work on the Gardiner between York and Jarvis,” Bryson said about the city’s next steps to repair the highway. The contract includes repairs and replacement of concrete box beams and installment of six permanent changeable message signs, which will cost the city $10 million.
“Over the next 10 years we will be rehabilitating the Gardiner so it will be a decision on how we do it and what areas need to be done first,” Bryson said. The city plans to make these decisions with the help of an external consultant.
The city’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee started discussions on incidents of concrete falling off the expressway when a piece fell down from the expressway at Lakeshore Blvd. east of Lower Jarvis St.
On May 10, another large piece of concrete landed on Parkside Drive near Lakeshore Blvd West. Last week was the third reported case of a concrete slab falling from the expressway.
Chipping concrete is said to be manageable and have no effect on the structural integrity of Gardiner, according to a report by the city.
The city plans to address the problem areas via regular inspections, controlled chipping routines, and mesh protection. Talks for a future capital program are still under way.
The city plans to begin the first stage of a multi-year program that will restore the deck of the highway beginning at the far east end in 2013.
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