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City says bridge problems are not structural

Bridge Street bridge

Patches of concrete fell off the Bridge Street bridge downtown last Thursday. Photo by Angus Argyle, QNet News

By Angus Argyle [1]

BELLEVILLE — The city of Belleville says the concrete that fell from the arches of  the Bridge Street bridge last Thursday does not mean there are structural concerns with the bridge.

The loose concrete has been removed to alleviate any safety concerns.

The fallen concrete was noticed last Thursday at which time the south sidewalk and one lane of traffic were closed to prevent concrete from falling on pedestrians and drivers crossing the bridge. On Friday the city’s operations department went to the site and chipped away the remaining loose concrete. Since then the sidewalk and all lanes of traffic have been re-opened.

The fallen concrete was part of the surface finish on the bridge and poses no threat according to a report given to city council on Friday by Ray Ford, Belleville’s manager of engineering.

An inspection of the damaged sections that city staff did on Friday showed that , “the damage does not pose any structural concern,” Barry Simpson, senior project manager for the city, told QNet News in an email Tuesday.

The design engineering firm that was responsible for repairs done on the bridge last year has not yet provided the city with a formal report on the incident, according to Simpson.

Ford stated in the report that the damage appears to be due to either poor workmanship or faulty material.

The city is working with the engineering company, G.D. Jewell Engineering [2], and the contractor, H.R. Doornekamp Construction, to determine why the repaired patches failed and to develop a repair strategy, Simpson said.

The report states that the city has requested Jewell to find out why this occurred and asked for a close inspection of other repaired areas.

It also says in the report that the problem is covered under warranty in the 2-year contract that the city has with the engineering company.

Repairs after Thursday’s incident will not be completed until the spring or summer, when the weather is better, Simpson said.