BY RICHARD GILBERT - The Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, B.C. is undergoing a second phase of repairs, which aims to improve the condition of the structure and safety.
“The Burrard Street Bridge is 81 years old and is in relatively good shape, but like any old piece of infrastructure it needs some work,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, the City of Vancouver’s director of transportation.
“At the current stage, we are doing preparation work to replace bearings and the expansion joints, which need to be rebuilt. The timing of the work on the bridge is being coordinated to begin at the same time as construction at the intersection at Burrard and Cornwall streets.”
Graham Infrastructure was awarded a $5.1 million contract for the replacement of 27 bearings and 19 expansion joints on the Burrard Bridge.
The contract, which will be financed from the city’s approved capital budget, includes concrete repairs to the underside of the bridge and a deck inspection over the next five months.
The rehabilitation and bearing replacement work is being delivered in three stages.
They are meant to reduce environmental risk to the contractor and the city, to account for scheduling and timing issues, and to obtain best value for money.
The three stages of bridge work include: PCB abatement, which was completed in the summer of 2013; fibre reinforced polymer strengthening that was completed in December 2013; and finally, bearing and joint replacement, as well as concrete repairs, which are currently underway.
The bearing and expansion joint replacements and concrete repairs began in December, but construction activity has recently ramped up.
As a result of this work, vehicle lanes were reduced from five to four, with two lanes operational in each direction.
The bridge will operate with one vehicle lane southbound and two vehicle lanes northbound from March to July 2014.
A pedestrian path and two bike lanes will be maintained.
The concrete repair work will address the highest priority areas for concrete rehabilitation based on condition and proximity to areas of public access.
The locations are typically overhead and are located within the soffits of the bridge deck and sidewalks.
Additional concrete repairs, representing medium priority locations, have been listed as provisional work and will be completed should the budget be made available.
The work has been scheduled so it coincides with the completion of the Burrard Cornwall intersection at the south end of the Burrard Bridge.
The project will simplify the intersection and improve safety for all users.
City crews have completed the first phase of construction of the intersection and will change the traffic pattern over for the second phase of construction.
The majority of construction for the second phase will also take place from November 2013 to the end of Summer 2014.
Future bridge work, which will be scheduled for subsequent capital plans, includes the replacement of the deteriorated concrete handrails, the rehabilitation of the concrete deck, concrete repairs to the marine spans, and the removal and replacement of the wood fenders.