POLITICS

Three buckled girders on Edmonton bridge to be removed for inspection

04/30/2015 01:15 EDT | Updated 08/08/2015 01:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Three large steel girders that buckled on a key bridge under construction in Edmonton last month are being removed for repair or replacement.

The damaged beams did start to straighten out, but the city says they will be sent back to the manufacturer for analysis.

Structural engineers will decide whether the girders can be repaired or must be replaced.

A fourth girder that was not damaged must also be moved so crews can get at the other beams.

Three others do not appear to have been damaged.

The city has said the $32-million project to replace an existing bridge on a busy commuter corridor could be delayed by up to one year.

No one was injured when the steel girders mysteriously buckled during installation in the middle of March. Crews had started bolting them in place after they had been put in position with cranes, but work was temporarily suspended due to extreme winds.

When crews returned the next day, the beams buckled without warning.

The safety hazard posed by the twisted metal closed Groat Road, a main thoroughfare beneath the 102 Avenue Bridge, although it has since reopened. Part of the avenue along which the bridge runs has been shut down since July, which has caused major traffic tieups.

The city says Groat Road will be closed again for the next two weekends while the girders are removed.

Edmonton's bridge karma hasn't improved.

Officials announced on April 8 that the opening of a new span over the North Saskatchewan River that cuts through the city has been delayed one year. About half the steel needed for the Walterdale Bridge has not arrived from the South Korean manufacturer.