Oops, Evergreen Line Guideway Shifts

When you do expensive jobs on the cheap, s**t happens.

Looks like the guideway fell off its bearings, I wonder why?

Coquitlam road closed by incident involving 300-tonne guideway at Evergreen Line construction site


METRO VANCOUVER – A 300-tonne beam dislodged early Friday on the new Evergreen SkyTrain Line in Coquitlam, forcing authorities to close a major commuter road.

Como Lake Avenue, which runs under the SkyTrain line in Coquitlam, is closed in both directions as engineers work on the section of the guideway, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

Amanda Farrell, project director for the Evergreen Line, said at around 1 a.m., a temporary concrete spacer that sits between the column and the guideway beam at Como Lake and Clarke Road failed, causing the beam to shift about six inches.

ai???This particular beam is slightly different and slightly more curved than the normal beams because itai??i??s going to come up and swoop over the intersection and down toward Coquitlam and itai??i??s going to be connected to other beams,ai??? she said.

She said engineers put in temporary metal spacers and then later will replace it with a permanent concrete spacer. She could not say why the spacer failed.

ai???Thatai??i??s what the engineers are out there doing now. They are looking at why it failed, how they are going to fix it and whether the road can reopen,ai??? she said.

When asked whether that 300-tonne beam could have fallen on the road, potentially crushing a vehicle, Farrell said there were no public safety concerns.

ai???Iai??i??ve been talking to the engineers here. The beam is on four points of contact and what they are telling me is that it is very stable where it is now and thatai??i??s not a concern,ai??? she said. ai???I donai??i??t want to speculate while they are out there investigating until I have all the facts.ai???

She said engineers have been following the standard methodology for building the SkyTrain and to her knowledge she had never heard of anything like this happening before during construction of a SkyTrain line.

ai???We will have to look at what has happened here and why that temporary spacer failed.ai???

The Coquitlam RCMP received several calls after the incident happened, with people saying they had heard a loud bang. Como Lake is expected to remain closed until around noon. The ministry says flagger personnel are at the location, helping motorists with detours. TransLink says due to the problem with Evergreen bus number 143 is detouring.

The $1.4-billion rapid transit line is slated to open in 2016 and connect Burnaby and Coquitlam. Tunnelling is expected to begin within days.

Once complete, the Evergreen Line will connect the Tri-Cities to the rest of the SkyTrain system, creating the longest rapid transit network in Canada, at 79 kilometres



With a file from Kelly Sinoski

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