UPDATE: Is the Gardiner Expressway falling apart?
Just how safe is the Gardiner Expressway? We're asking that question again after new documents have surfaced.
According to a Freedom of Information request filed by Global News, a collection of inspection reports, briefings and emails warn of the deteriorating conditions of the overpass, the need for emergency removal of loose concrete and the possibility of a large vehicle being able to crack a hole right through the bridge portion of the expressway.
That is referred to as a 'punch-through'. It wouldn't be large enough for a truck to fall through, but it could send a very large chunk of concrete falling onto cars below, or it could cause a pile-up from vehicles trying to avoid it.
Two separate reports indicate this is more of a possibility near Fort York Boulevard and approaching Cherry Street. There were reports of loose concrete over a children's playground as well as above the GO's Exhibition station. An email was also sent out in June of this year stating concrete would fall any minute onto Simcoe Street.
The report also suggests that the reinforcing steel has severely corroded with over 50% section loss in some areas.
A safety consultant that looked at the reports, Roger Tickner, spoke with John Downs on Friendly Fire Tuesday night saying, that it's just a matter of time before something serious happens as a result of falling concrete, “I think the Gardiner is in very difficult times. It’s in a state of ill-repair from the reports I have seen.”
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong agrees the Gardiner isn't getting the TLC it requires, but that they are working on getting the funding to fix the road.
Currently, city officials are looking at whether to approve a $505-million repair plan over ten years, which would focus on the structure of the expressway that cars drive on.
In the last year, there have been at least six reported incidents of falling concrete off the Gardiner Expressway.