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City of Vancouver claims Granville bridge a danger due to faulty rehabilitation work

The city wants three B.C. companies to pay it unspecified costs for defects and deficiencies it says has led to the accelerated corrosion, degradation and weakening of structural steel in the bridge
The Granville Street Bridge on Feb. 17, 2024. Last year, the City of Vancouver approved a $50-million project to transform the bridge. NICK PROCAYLO, PNG

VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver has accused three B.C. companies involved in rehabilitation work on the Granville Street Bridge of failures that are now damaging some sections of structural steel.

According to a recent lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of B.C., the city completed a rehabilitation project on the bridge from 2019 to 2021 that included replacing some expansion joints connecting parts of the bridge, installing rubber troughs underneath some of the expansion joints to protect structural steel from water run-off and re-coating the structural steel beneath the expansion joints.

The city states that Associated Engineering was responsible for design and inspection of the work, Graham Infrastructure was the general contractor and Ross Rex Industrial Painters was the subcontractor for the painting work.

The city alleges there are several defects and/or deficiencies in the completed work, including not applying caulking, not applying penetrating sealer correctly and installing faulty rubber troughs that allow salty water to spill onto structural steel below.

“The defects/deficits and resultant damage pose a real and substantial danger to members of the public who use the Granville bridge and the city’s employees, contractors and representatives who access the Granville bridge, because of accelerated corrosion, degradation and weakening of structural steel members,” the city claims.

The three companies have not yet responded to the city’s allegations, which have not been proven.

The city wants those three companies to pay it unspecified costs and damages.

Last year, the city approved a $50 million project to transform the Granville bridge. This will include converting the two westernmost of the bridge’s eight car lanes to separated walking, rolling and cycling routes, and removing the loops on the bridge’s north end.

— With files from Dan Fumano