Wyndham Bridge Information

Staff memo.

In recent weeks there has been a fair bit of coverage about the Wyndham Bridge.

Re: design and construction of the bridge:
When the City replaced the 100-year old CN Railway bridge, it followed all CN Rail requirements and specifications. Our new, larger bridge meets all modern technical standards for current and future rail use. It is structurally sound and was built correctly.

RE: the roadway:
When the City renewed the roadway beneath the bridge, added sidewalks and bike lanes, the bridge was designed to allow as much clearance as possible given location of upgraded underground water, wastewater and utility infrastructure. This has been confirmed by an external consultant.

Trucks are permitted to use local streets for deliveries. The street was not a “permissive truck route” intended for regular, through truck traffic
To prevent large truck operators from using the route, the City updated its traffic by-law prohibiting large trucks from using the road.

RE: Communications
The City was aware that large vehicles may be impacted by the project.
While this issue was raised during public information sessions that took place before construction, we could have done a better job communicating with stakeholders about the available in clearance beneath the new bridge – particularly trucking companies and local businesses receiving deliveries on large trucks.

Action:
Staff are implementing a much more comprehensive sign plan indicating a 3.8 metre clearance, and several notices have been distributed.

In the next days, further communications will be circulated through an increased awareness plan.   Staff

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4 Comments

Filed under Traffic Management

4 responses to “Wyndham Bridge Information

  1. Denis Galon

    Helpful, Ian. Thank you for posting this.

    The impression created by the press coverage has been, I think, of a fundamental engineering error in as much as the clearance is less now than before for absolutely no good reason.

    The “good reason” given here is that the clearance is the maximum it can be given the location of underground infrastructure. In my opinion, there is insufficient information here, Ian, and I wonder if you would be willing to request more. Could that infrastructure have been lower? Could the bridge have been higher? Those are the right questions, and they are not answered.

    What exactly has changed here between the old and new structure?

    Has the depth of the underground infrastructure changed between the new and the old? If the present depth, for whatever reason, beyond the control of engineering without, for instance, creating the need for sewage pumping. More pointedly, could the rebuild stuff have been place deeper to accommodate greater clearance.

    And then on the top end, what is relative relationship between the bottom of the old bridge and the new one. Is the new any lower than the old relative to each other. If so, was that for some reason beyond the control of design engineers.

    I really want to believe that there was not a fundamental design flaw here, but the language of this staff memo is not wisely selected to convey that fact if it is correct. And if there was a design flaw (defined as now allowing for as much clearance now as before), then golly gosh, why not admit it. Errors of this nature do occur.

    Anyone recall the fiasco of beams for the Hanlon/Wellington overpass not being long enough because an essential turning lane had not been incorporated into the design?

    • This is all passed off as a rather benign situation but did the City really agree to a something that would lead to slower emergency response times? It now leaves them/us open to all kinds of liabilities and lawsuits, and all because someone was too to cheap to do a bit of excavatin.

  2. mike darmon

    My thoughts on actually taking a look at the new bridge and crash beams is that there may not have been an issue with the actual clearance directly under the new bridge.What has changed is the width of the new bridge and the new crash beams placement that in effect ,further widens the bridge. This combined with the angle of entry due to the curvature in the road ,causes a problem for long ,full size transport trucks.
    I agree with Denis that the explanation given by staff is lacking detail.
    As for a solution ?-short term -better early warning signs and communication as recommended by staff.
    Long term-can the crash beams be legally moved closer to the bridge?
    Or can the roadway be lowered to decrease this entry angle at a reasonable cost ?

  3. I am also tired of what could be collective ass-covering hiding under the ubiquitous heading of “Staff.” Why not self-identify and let the chips fall where they may. After all, how do we know that “Staff” is not trying to deflect screw-ups made by the same “Staff?”

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