Lanes and Sidewalks to Close for Gardiner Work
Starting immediately, drivers and pedestrians could see closures of lanes and sidewalks underneath the Gardiner Expressway as crews chip away at loose concrete and crews begin a more detailed inspection of the structure.
It's after another chunk of concrete came crashing down earlier this week, the third incident this month.
"It (the latest incident) did, I would say, push us a little a bit," says Manager of Structures and Expressways John Bryson. "We had already planned to do it, we're just doing it a little earlier and putting extra crews on."
No one has been hurt by falling concrete, but the possibility of an injury (especially after the last chunk fell on a sidewalk) has the city moving faster on the work.
"Public safety is paramount," says Executive Director of Technical Services Peter Crockett. "We want to make sure it continues to be safe under the Gardiner as well as under the Gardiner."
In early May, crews began to inspect the Gardiner looking for trouble areas that could crumble to the ground below. On Thursday a more detailed visual engineering inspection began, looking for future problem areas.
On Wednesday workers increased efforts to chip away any loose concrete. By the end of the weekend, four crews of 20 employees will have worked on the expressway. Chipping is expected to finish by the end of the month.
During inspection and chipping, city officials will close lanes of traffic or sidewalks if there is a believed to be a public safety risk.
"If it's a choice between an inconvenience for a pedestrian or a motorist versus a piece of concrete falling on a car or pedestrian, I think the choice is really easy," says chair of the city's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. "We've got to put safety first."