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Thread: Nearly 2 years to renovate a small retaining wall on the Capilano Freeway?

  1. #1

    Default Nearly 2 years to renovate a small retaining wall on the Capilano Freeway?

    If there is anyone here who regular drives down the Capilano Freeway, you should know what I mean. For the last while now, there has been renovations on the retaining wall on the side of the Capilano Freeway north bound. It is maybe 150m in length at max and at tallest maybe 2 to 2.5m, and Monday-Friday (weekends too sometimes) there are workers working away on this thing. This is all fine by me, the old retaining wall looked well weathered and needed a face lift.

    What has bothered me is the extreme length it has taken to complete this project. I don't claim to be at all knowledgeable about retaining wall construction, but the chosen method of construction for this has my mind boggled. Crews construct the forms and rebar for the concrete to be poured, then they pour the concrete, and then proceed to what looks like chip away at the concrete with hand tools and chisels. Then they tear down the poured concrete, rebuild the forms and rebar, repour the concrete and do the same thing over again. I kid you not, these workers have been doing this week by week since at least August. That is 4+ months of this. And for what purpose?

    According to the CoE website, the project began in April 2015, and is set to finally complete in late December 2016. That is almost two freaking years! All for one small retaining wall that never involved any excavation or even what looks like serious structural engineering. To be fair, I imagine that a fair chunk of that time was more for planning, as I don't remember the work really beginning on that wall until early spring 2016, but even still. Lets say they began work on the wall in April 2016, that is still EIGHT months to complete this thing. Just sheer wages alone of paying those workers 40+ hours a week adds up to an insane amount. I don't even want to know what the final cost for this absolute waste of money this project was.
    Twenty one, thirty one, and seven twenty-seven.

  2. #2

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    Could be the concrete didnt pass tests and had to be repaired. It would be on the contractor's dime if that were the case.

    But they've been working on that stretch for, like you say, over 2 years...not just the retaining wall. The concrete median rehabilitation and curb upgrades took way too long. You'd often drive by with no one working and perfectly usable lanes closed during rush hour. I only drive that stretch once or twice every couple months so I haven't bothered calling in. Though if you're a regular commuter and you see unnecessary impediments, I'd suggest calling in. The city is pretty clueless what the contractor is doing...which is (not) surprising.

  3. #3
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    I drive by occasionally and agree it has taken way too long to complete...like so many other projects in our city.

  4. #4

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    Such a seemingly basic project that was completely botched. I sure hope the city has penalties, they've closed a lane for far too long.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Such a seemingly basic project that was completely botched. I sure hope the city has penalties, they've closed a lane for far too long.
    Quote this COE standard when complaining to the City about barricaded and lanes unnecessarily blocked when no work is being performed. https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Co...tionSafety.pdf

    When traffic lanes are requiredbefore the work is finished, trenchesand small excavation sites shallbe bridged with steel plates.All unnecessary Temporary TrafficControl equipment and devices shallbe removed from the road or turnedaway from traffic immediately.
    Prime Contractor shall beresponsible for removal orcovering of temporary speedzone signs and speed finedoubles signs when no workersare present. This includes there-installing or uncovering ofexisting speed limit signs.
    NoteWork Zone Speed Reductions mustbe removed or covered when notjustified. If a reduced speed zonehas been left posted while the siteis inactive, such as weekends,evenings, etc., then the signs loseeffectiveness with repeat traffic.This loss in effectiveness can becarried from one project to another
    One of the most violated city policies IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Such a seemingly basic project that was completely botched. I sure hope the city has penalties, they've closed a lane for far too long.
    Quote this COE standard when complaining to the City about barricaded and lanes unnecessarily blocked when no work is being performed. https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Co...tionSafety.pdf

    When traffic lanes are requiredbefore the work is finished, trenchesand small excavation sites shallbe bridged with steel plates.All unnecessary Temporary TrafficControl equipment and devices shallbe removed from the road or turnedaway from traffic immediately.
    Prime Contractor shall beresponsible for removal orcovering of temporary speedzone signs and speed finedoubles signs when no workersare present. This includes there-installing or uncovering ofexisting speed limit signs.
    NoteWork Zone Speed Reductions mustbe removed or covered when notjustified. If a reduced speed zonehas been left posted while the siteis inactive, such as weekends,evenings, etc., then the signs loseeffectiveness with repeat traffic.This loss in effectiveness can becarried from one project to another
    One of the most violated city policies IMHO.

    I called 3-1-1 one Sunday afternoon because the Yellowhead westbound was dropped from three lanes to one and there was no sign of any work happening or workers what so ever.

    Come back in it was gone.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Such a seemingly basic project that was completely botched. I sure hope the city has penalties, they've closed a lane for far too long.
    Quote this COE standard when complaining to the City about barricaded and lanes unnecessarily blocked when no work is being performed. https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Co...tionSafety.pdf

    When traffic lanes are requiredbefore the work is finished, trenchesand small excavation sites shallbe bridged with steel plates.All unnecessary Temporary TrafficControl equipment and devices shallbe removed from the road or turnedaway from traffic immediately.
    Prime Contractor shall beresponsible for removal orcovering of temporary speedzone signs and speed finedoubles signs when no workersare present. This includes there-installing or uncovering ofexisting speed limit signs.
    NoteWork Zone Speed Reductions mustbe removed or covered when notjustified. If a reduced speed zonehas been left posted while the siteis inactive, such as weekends,evenings, etc., then the signs loseeffectiveness with repeat traffic.This loss in effectiveness can becarried from one project to another
    One of the most violated city policies IMHO.
    I thought I read an article that stated it's constantly violated because there's no fines or penalties.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  8. #8

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    The length of some of these projects have always been a mystery to me. I think the 23 ave/91 street NE corner takes the gold prize in Edmonton. The median is occupied with equipment and the right WB lane of 23rd ave is closed. I'm assuming it's some type of sewer work, but I could never find this project on the city website. The project must be nearing a decade now.

  9. #9

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    You know how these building projects always seem to get behind in Edmonton. Maybe they are part of the original crew who first built the bridge and they are just finishing off that section.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickv View Post
    If there is anyone here who regular drives down the Capilano Freeway, you should know what I mean. For the last while now, there has been renovations on the retaining wall on the side of the Capilano Freeway north bound. It is maybe 150m in length at max and at tallest maybe 2 to 2.5m, and Monday-Friday (weekends too sometimes) there are workers working away on this thing. This is all fine by me, the old retaining wall looked well weathered and needed a face lift.

    What has bothered me is the extreme length it has taken to complete this project. I don't claim to be at all knowledgeable about retaining wall construction, but the chosen method of construction for this has my mind boggled. Crews construct the forms and rebar for the concrete to be poured, then they pour the concrete, and then proceed to what looks like chip away at the concrete with hand tools and chisels. Then they tear down the poured concrete, rebuild the forms and rebar, repour the concrete and do the same thing over again. I kid you not, these workers have been doing this week by week since at least August. That is 4+ months of this. And for what purpose?

    According to the CoE website, the project began in April 2015, and is set to finally complete in late December 2016. That is almost two freaking years! All for one small retaining wall that never involved any excavation or even what looks like serious structural engineering. To be fair, I imagine that a fair chunk of that time was more for planning, as I don't remember the work really beginning on that wall until early spring 2016, but even still. Lets say they began work on the wall in April 2016, that is still EIGHT months to complete this thing. Just sheer wages alone of paying those workers 40+ hours a week adds up to an insane amount. I don't even want to know what the final cost for this absolute waste of money this project was.
    I sure hope they weren't working 40 hours a week for 8 months on this project, probably more like 40 hours total over eight months. I am not sure what the problem with the city is - implementation of anything is not their strong suit. I think the problem is partly right at the top - some politicians seem to love planning big projects, but don't seem interested or capable or managing implementation well, but I think it probably goes beyond that into the administration and management of the city.

  11. #11
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    Not to nitpick, but the road in question has been known as Wayne Gretzky Drive for at 16 years now. Or is it because this retaining wall project has lasted longer than that?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  12. #12

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    The name changes every few blocks so for some it's hard to keep up with what it's called.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  13. #13

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    Sonic Death Monkey.
    Well the C of E never sought my permission or approval before re-naming it so just to spite them I will still call it the Capilano Freeway. There you go, this will be sure to bring them to their knees in apologies!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    The length of some of these projects have always been a mystery to me. I think the 23 ave/91 street NE corner takes the gold prize in Edmonton. The median is occupied with equipment and the right WB lane of 23rd ave is closed. I'm assuming it's some type of sewer work, but I could never find this project on the city website. The project must be nearing a decade now.
    Actually I think it's been closer to 5 years (but who's counting) and they ran into some big problems underground, namely quicksand-like soil that wasn't expected and has really dragged out the project. From the Journal August 2015 (full article posted due to paywall):

    Mill Woods sewer trunk line now two years behind schedule and $33 million over budget

    City officials are now hoping a Mill Woods drainage project $33 million over budget and stuck in a tunnelling quagmire will be done by spring.

    The double barrel storm water trunk line is now two years behind schedule after crews tunnelling 18 metres beneath the surface ran into quicksand-like soil conditions.

    “It’s basically really wet sand. When you open it up, it just flows. … With the machine that we have, we couldn’t tunnel through it,” said Clem Yong, director of project delivery for the drainage department.

    Officials are scheduled to give a brief update to council Tuesday, with a full accounting in February of what caused the delays and why the problem wasn’t picked up earlier.

    The 3.4 kilometres of new storm sewer pipe was originally scheduled to be finished construction in December 2013 on a budget of $41.4 million. But the geotechnical analysis done during the design phase didn’t pick up a 250-metre long section of wet sand. After discovering the problem during construction, the team had to return to council twice to increase the budget.

    Now they’re expecting to spend $74.6 million. Crews tried to excavate by hand but found it was too dangerous. Officials now hope to sign an out-of-town contractor this week to do the work with specialized equipment.

    It has Coun. Mike Nickel baffled.

    “How can you be surprised?” said Nickel, who asked for the report to council. “We’re not unfamiliar with the soil in Mill Woods. The city built Mill Woods. … We’ve been working in that area for quite some time.”

    It’s meant residents in the area have had to put up with road closures since 2009. It’s particularly frustrating for residents living near 85th Street and 23rd Avenue, where the main access shaft for the troubled portion is located.

    “It has been going on for a very long time,” said Shireen Mears, interim president for the Knottwood Community League.

    The site is an eyesore, mess and a traffic headache. “It’s been difficult,” she said. “Could there have been more investigation done before putting machines in there?”

    Yong said a geotechnical analysis was done during the design phase of the project. The team picked a certain number of bore holes to drill along the route and analyzed the soil conditions.

    But this particular patch was not among those sampled. “You do it in certain spacings,” he said. “Two-hundred and fifty-metres is less than 10 per cent of the project.”
    It happens that studies miss patches of bad soil like this, Yong said. “The ground changes and you don’t know where it’s going to change.”

    But that said, the city does more detailed analysis with more bore holes where it knows soil conditions are likely poor. “Going forward, we’ll probably be more rigorous in terms of the geotechnical that we do,” he said.

    Tuesday’s update for council is part of a presentation that reviews a list of 92 capital projects. Seventy-nine are reported as on time and on budget. Five are yellow because they are one to 10 per cent over on either budget or schedule. Eight are more than 10 per cent behind schedule.

    The Mill Woods drainage projects is listed as behind schedule but on budget since it is on track to be finished within the adjusted budget.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...on-over-budget

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    Looks like CTV is doing a story on this
    https://twitter.com/AmandaCTV/status/804750729902555136
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  16. #16

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    Two year project?

    Really sub par performance.

    This makes the contractor an excellent choice for the next bridge rehabilitation project.
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    ^ It makes them an excellent choice for the next bus outta here.
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    This is Edmonton... they'll be congratulated for finally finishing and then given various new contracts as a reward for not leaving the project unfinished altogether or something like that. Our administration rarely learns from past mistakes.

  19. #19

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    The city needs to factor in economic costs and general inconvenience to users and taxpayers when it comes to enforcement of crap like this. One can only assume that the contractor was negligent because they felt the risk of doing shoddy work and getting away with it was less than the penalties. That needs to change.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  20. #20

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    This is the result of the lowest bidder getting the contract. Looks like the contractor ordered the wrong type of concrete and then his workers were not skilled or trained enough on how to ensure a good pour. At least they are forced to bring it uo to specifications but the COE inspectors should be extra diligent on any other corner cutting or under spec work.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Not to nitpick, but the road in question has been known as Wayne Gretzky Drive for at 16 years now. Or is it because this retaining wall project has lasted longer than that?
    I was wondering what the heck Capilano Freeway was, I assumed it was Wayne Gretzky Drive because of the bridge but wasn't sure. Been living in Edmonton since 2002 and it's always been Wayne Gretzky.... I've never heard it called anything else.

  22. #22

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    alkeli:

    Wayne Gretzky Drive was originally named Capilano Freeway. The City Council of that era decided that the name was too grandeur and charged the Street Naming Committee to change it. Without Public input this was then changed to Capilano Drive, still retaining the Capilano name to reflect the historical connection to the area. After a few years it was re-named again to it's present title.

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    Yup, after a year or two once The Great One retired, council licked it's lips. Just be glad it wasn't 99th street.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komorosky View Post
    alkeli:

    Wayne Gretzky Drive was originally named Capilano Freeway. The City Council of that era decided that the name was too grandeur and charged the Street Naming Committee to change it. Without Public input this was then changed to Capilano Drive, still retaining the Capilano name to reflect the historical connection to the area. After a few years it was re-named again to it's present title.
    Weird. Asked some of my friends about it who have lived here for a long time and no one else knew it was ever called anything else. But, I've never lived in the area either, I just took that route now and then.

  25. #25

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    alkeli:

    This is going back nearly thirty years before you arrived. It was definitely called Capilano Freeway in 1973 when I lived on 75 Street and used it nearly every day.
    Last edited by Komorosky; 14-12-2016 at 07:19 PM.

  26. #26

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    It originally was called a freeway and had a 60mph (100kph) speed limit but it was shorter and only went as far as 112th Ave and then you had to cut through Highlands on 66 and 68th streets.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 14-12-2016 at 07:27 PM.
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    I was 6 years old when they were building the Capilano Freeway. It was only a couple of short blocks from my house. I remember walking through the new storm sewer from the retaining wall down to the river. A friend of mine rode his bike over the walking bridge there, before they put the railings up. The construction site was a giant playground for a couple of summers. Those were the good old days!

  28. #28
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    It was renamed to Wayne Gretzky Drive the year when the man retired from the NHL, back in 99 (see what they did there?)
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  29. #29

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    To be frank with you guys, I thought the stretch north of the Capilano bridge to 118th avenue was Wayne Gretzky drive, and the stretch of road south of the Capilano bridge to 101st ave was called the Capilano freeway. Had no idea the entire stretch was Wayne Gretzky drive.
    Twenty one, thirty one, and seven twenty-seven.

  30. #30

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    They got rid of the Capilano Freeway name to Capilano Drive decades ago and lowered the speed limit from 100 to 80 kph.
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