Traffic chaos ensues as Herb Gray Parkway girders removed
Hundreds of support beams used in the construction of the $1.4 billion Herb Gray Parkway are set to be removed and replaced by the end of the summer.
On Saturday, crews were busy at the North Talbot Bridge, shutting down traffic for the majority of the day.
"This is the first structure at North Talbot Bridge where we have actually taken girders out and replaced them right away," says Cindy Prince, communications manager for the MTO.
To do the work, Highway 401 has to be shut down between Provincial and Highway 3.
A disruption to many motorists, and yet another frustration for area residents, including John Avran who has lived next to North Talbot Bridge for 16 years.
"Loss of money for nothing. I don't know what's happening with that," he says.
Avran adds he says he tired of taking alternative routes.
"I use more gasoline, I waste more of my time," says Avran.
But officials say projects like this take time.
"We had to make the 8 girders again and that takes quite a bit of time. As well we were getting our protocols in place to make sure that the girders that are being put in meet everyone's expectations and that all of the quality," says Prince.
This comes after testing revealed a total of 300 girders which were already installed were found faulty and unusable.
The Ministry of Transportation says efforts are being made to limit noise, dust and impacts on traffic.
"It's always safety first," says Rabih Khaillah, Traffic Manager for the Parkway Project.
The closure was expected last week but was pushed back.
"When the weather has been as cold as it's been the machinery doesn't work as well," says Prince.
"It's just been simply too cold from a health and safety perspective to have our workers out working in those conditions," she adds.
Girders will also be replaced at the Labelle, Oakwood and Villa Borghese tunnels.
"We are focusing on getting this construction done is a timely fashion and in a manner that the public will be pleased with the results," says Prince.