Thursday, December 20, 2012

What next at Port Mann?

It's time for the Liberal government to explain what might happen next. The Port Mann bridge and highway project cost $3.3 billion but we've seen that provided no protection from ice falls. What assurance do we have that other known problems of cable stayed bridges were not similarly ignored?

From the archives of the New York Times:
A FUROR has erupted in the world of bridge engineering over the long-term reliability of an innovative design that has come to dominate the modern generation of great bridges, all but replacing the traditional suspension bridge.

Two experts have conducted an international survey of these new bridges, known as cable-stayed bridges, and they say that their inspections revealed widespread corrosion -premature and potentially dangerous - in the cables that hold up the roadways.

''There's a cancer in these bridges,'' one of the experts, Stewart C. Watson, said in an interview. Last Friday, he told a group of experts on bridge safety in New York, ''After looking at 100 of these bridges, we're scared to death.''

In Germany, where the the cable-stay design was invented, bridges that were meant to last for many decades have had to be shut down so that corroded cables could be replaced. ''We were just shocked to see new bridges, 4 to 10 years old, with tremendous corrosive degradation of the primary cables,'' Mr. Watson said...
It is worth noting that in days of not-net-zero, TIC Grant Main eked out a 20% raise in fiscal 2012, about $3,800 monthly. He didn't make out as well as Kenneth Tan who earned $171,800 in 2011 and $376,224 in 2012. Garry Dawson, VP technical services, suffering under current austerity, had only a 20% raise between 2010 and 2012.

In happier days, Mary Polak offered coupon for free ice

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14 comments:

  1. BC Liberal government is responsible for this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Norm,
    Oh Boy! it looks like now it's a matter of spending good money for nothing but headaches for users who depend on this bridge.
    The outlook is indeed grim, so much so that this one project will keep the province in the poor house.
    It can't be used as is so maybe the best answer is to rebuild roadways to reopen the old bridge and go back to the drawing board before throwing away billions more.
    What a situation we as taxpayers have been placed in.
    At least we now know the real reason for mr. Falcon's early leave.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bet that even with these problems, the guys running the Transportation Investment Corporation will still earn their performance bonuses this year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just put it on the tab with the rest of the expensive boondoggles:

    Smart Grid $1 billion
    IPP power $52 billion
    Site C $8 billion
    Stadium roof $0.6 billion

    etc....

    We'll just borrow the money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And people like "new blood" prospective candidate Suzanne Anton will tell people that Liberals provided "prudent fiscal management."

      I guess, if we as voters buy into this garbage, we deserve what we get.

      Delete
  5. If we calculate the risks it shouldn't be too big a deal....its not like bridges are built above bodies of water or near salt ocean air that would promote such corrosion.

    Preceding said with tongue-in-cheek. Engineers already know the effects of corrosion and have many methods in place to minimize. They already know the design life of the cables before replacement due to corrosion is required.

    The question is just as Norm says. Did the best method of corrosion protection not get chosen because of cost? Just what is the design life of the cables and when is replacement scheduled? Has the cost of this preventative maintenance/replacement been included in the $3.2 billion price tag? Is routine non-destructive testing of cables and structures included in the price? Did our government employ independent engineers (not involved in the original design) to verify calculations and performance claims?

    Answers to the above are readily available, but will we be told? Where is the MSM on this? Where is the email that said "thanks for letting us know about your severe weather ice protection option, but I think we will pass".

    Ice bombs give Norm every reason to ask "What assurance do we have that other known problems of cable stayed bridges were not similarly ignored?"

    What does it take to get an MSM journalist to do some asking?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Isn't all this money for IPP's, Smart Meters, Port Mann bridge etc coming out of our CPP? I thought I read that somewhere. If so, where is that going to lead to? Are we going to be doing the "Greek"?

    ReplyDelete
  7. A bridge too far...hmmm. Okay, lets throw another billion at things, and see what that does. After all, we won't be here after next May anyway.

    Just gets worse all the time, for the BC Liberals. Prudent fiscal management? I seriously doubt that. More like, more money might make our troubles go away, type thinking.

    I suggest we send the party, and its members the bill, for all the boondoggles. I mean after all, isn't it about, accountability and integrity? If I, as a shareholder in business, believe that my funds have been squandered or mis-spent, in the business, don't I have the right, as a shareholder to sue, for non-performance, at least?

    Just my opinion, mind you.

    The reality is "just keep paying your taxes, we'll do the rest, its all good...la di da di da.

    You clowns are so done!

    ReplyDelete
  8. If we have a sizable earthquake in the lower mainland, we will probably have the widest Galloping Gertie in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anyone wonder if these higher than normal tides, which have nothing to do with climate change(nudge nudge) combined with higher than normal spring runoffs, which have nothing to do with climate change(wink wink) will have an effect on the underpinnings of the bridge??
    islandpapa

    ReplyDelete
  10. I checked with my bridge expert and the outlook for the Port Mann is expensive. According to the chap, the failure to put heated cables and the design of the modified span cable stayed bridge, makes it almost impossible to 'add-on' some sort of deicing mechanism, due to the weight involved.

    One solution is to apply some sort of deicer on the cables prior to winter, but that would be rather hit and miss. The long and the short of it is that it would be cheaper to pay off damaged cars and wrongful death suits, than to retro-fit a solution.

    Like the fast-ferries haunted and still haunt the NDP, ice bombs from Gordon Campbell's pet P-3 project will haunt the Liberals for decades to come, especially if the authorities close the bridge during snow falls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh c'mon. How much could it cost to use Chinese labour to climb up there and hold blow-dryers on the cables 24-7?

      Delete
  11. Guess this makes the fast ferries episode, look like small potatoes eh... Oh don't forget the BC Place roof,that was money really well spent as well, I wonder what's next...hmmm, but where will the money come from....gee...I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  12. This was posted elsewhere, but it sums up the very close relationship between Kiewit and the BC Liberals,; sort of the same relationship between CN Rail and the BC Liberals.

    Bill Boring, Vaugn (greasy) Palmer and BS Baldry are you listening?

    Kiewit donations to the Liberals…..$100,000 for your buddys, dick all for heating the cables…..

    KIEWIT/FLATIRON GENERAL PARTNERSHIP 2009/09/29 $5,000.00 3 DAN HEMENWAY DEAN GADD BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT 2009/04/02 $2,000.00 1 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2005/03/21 $1,600.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2005/04/15 $600.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2005/04/19 $3,000.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2009/02/18 $5,000.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2009/03/25 $7,500.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT & SONS CO LTD 2009/05/15 $50,000.00 2 JASSY BRAR BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT INFRASTRUCTURE CO. 2011/07/29 $7,500.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2006/09/29 $3,000.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2007/04/05 $500.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2007/04/05 $500.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2007/04/24 $1,000.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2008/12/03 $1,875.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY
    PETER KIEWIT SONS CO LTD. 2010/05/10 $7,500.00 2 BC LIBERAL PARTY POLITICAL PARTY BC LIBERAL PARTY

    ReplyDelete

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