Twisted Metal over Groat Road
Around 2:15 a.m. Monday, four of the girders buckled as one of them was being installed. Work was halted and several engineers were brought in to investigate.
“At this point in time we are not able to identify a single factor that caused the girders to fail,” said Barry Belcourt, branch manager of the roads design and construction branch with the City of Edmonton. The city said Groat Road will remain closed on Tuesday until all four girders can be removed or repaired. However, the process could take weeks, so it’s not known when the road will re-open to traffic.
The city is looking into a number of potential causes, including wind, temperatures, the quality of steel and the way it was being installed. The girders were bent as much as a metre and a half. The girders weight 40 tonnes each.
How long it will take to get the project back on track will depend on what is learned from the review into why the girders buckled, Belcourt said.
The city needs to determine if more cranes are needed, if the girders can be repaired on site or if crews have to take the bridge apart and start over.
“In the worst-case scenario, if the steel can’t be repaired, it could delay the overall project by a year.”
Belcourt said the delay is likely to add to the project’s cost, which is pegged at $32 million.