Freyssinet maintains girders are safe
Freyssinet Canada says a review conducted by engineers indicates pre-stressed concrete girders they manufactured for use in the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway "are entirely safe for use."
The company sought a review of their girders by Nebraska engineers Maher Tadros and Craig Finley. Freyssinet says the review shows that the girders exceed almost twice the requisite strength.
"I have not seen anything that would lead me to believe that the girders need to be removed or destroyed," Tadros said. “The three components of Freyssinet Canada's girders -- concrete, prestressing steel and welded wire reinforcement – both meet and in some cases exceed project requirements".
In October, a committee of independent experts released a supplemental report, that stated cracking could be seen at the end of some of the girders.
“(Prestressed Systems Incorporated’s) Post Pour Inspection Reports disclose cracking of concrete at the ends of all of the 54 Tunnel T10B girders,” the supplemental report states. “Cracks in the web were as wide as 0.2 mm, and some of them were extending more than 600 mm in the end zone of the girders.”
A statement from the Windsor-Essex Mobility Group indicates the decision to remove the girders was influenced by ongoing inspections.
“The decision to reject the Freyssinet girders was made as a result of new information that came to light in the course of ongoing inspections and destructive testing,” said the mobility group in a statement.
A total of 500 fabricated girders were supplied for the parkway project. The removal of 288 installed girders is currently underway.
The company says their expert review concludes that the decision to reject the girders was based on “limited and inaccurate information”.
Freyssinet says Parkway Infrastructure Constructors is not cooperating with requests to provide details of its testing.