Inspectors have found a range of problems with concrete work at the city’s LRT sites, according to newly released inspection reports that offer a behind-the-scenes look at Ottawa’s biggest infrastructure project.
The problems relate to concrete pours at worksites such as unacceptable temperatures and missed durability tests, and have forced contractors to sometimes redo work or come up with workarounds.
The city finally released the 63 reports to Ken Rubin after he successfully convinced a provincial adjudicator that the records are of public interest. Rubin, an Ottawa access-to-information specialist, was originally stymied by the Rideau Transit Group, which didn’t want the city-held records released. The city, which agreed with Rubin that releasing the records wouldn’t cause harm to RTG, has the documents since RTG is its main contractor on the $2.1-billion LRT project.
The 644 pages of non-conformance reports largely detail deficiencies with concrete pouring activities around the maintenance and storage facility, stations and in the downtown tunnel.
All of the inspections were initiated by the construction contractor’s quality control team, making sure work completed by the subcontractors meets the city’s requirements and the RTG design. Non-conformance reports are standard documents in the construction industry, helping contractors and clients make sure the quality of work is up to snuff. They make sure the client — in this case the City of Ottawa — is getting the safe transit infrastructure it paid for.
There’s a huge amount of concrete going into the construction of the Confederation Line. The 2.5-kilometre tunnel alone is expected to have been built with 84,181 cubic metres of poured concrete when the work is done.