Councillor confirms Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge welding issues

Welding problems on a major bridge under construction in south Ottawa have city officials revisiting the expected completion date for the project, which is already more than a year behind schedule, the area councillor said Friday.

Steve Desroches, who represents Gloucester South-Nepean, declined to say directly whether the completion of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge - originally scheduled to be completed by spring 2012 - will be delayed. However he said “likely it is not a matter of weeks” when discussing the revised schedule for the project.

City engineers are currently working with the project’s contractor, Horseshoe Hill, to look at the project’s timelines. Mr. Desroches said he will have a more “fulsome” update sometime in April.

As OBJ first reported in early February, the cold winter weather created problems with the welding during the past few months.

The $48-million project, which is designed to link the communities of Barrhaven and Riverside South, is supposed to be finished in August of this year but has already been delayed several times.

Mr. Desroches did not go into too many details about what was wrong with the welding, other than to say it is “very complex” and he did not want there to be any safety issues when the bridge opens.

“I would like to see this project completed as quickly as possible to the highest safety standards,” said Mr. Desroches. “No one wants to compromise the safety for the sake of a ribbon cutting.”

Workers on the project told OBJ in late January that construction on the project had ground to a halt.

Mr. Desroches denied this claim. Construction never stopped during the winter months, he said.

The project was originally supposed to be completed in spring 2012. That was delayed when the firm that won the contract, ConCreate USL, entered receivership last March.