Concrete sunscreens to be removed from Viger Tunnel
Published Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:58PM EDT
MONTREAL - Three months after a 25-tonne concrete slab collapsed on the Ville Marie Expressway, Transport Quebec is seeking to have the rest of the sunscreens removed from the entrance to the Viger Tunnel.
In the week after the fall the remaining 'paralumes' were reinforced with support pillars that block the left-hand lane of the eastbound 720.
Rather than try to replace the screens, or build a less-bulky support structure, Transport Quebec has decided to do away with them altogether.
"We're talking about 154 paralumes," said Caroline Larose, a spokeswoman for the government ministry. "They are all resting on 18 beams so we'll be removing all of it."
The only purpose for the concrete gridwork was to screen the sun for drivers and help their eyes adjust to the darkness within the tunnel.
Over recent weeks more lights have been added to the tunnel to let drivers see.
Transport Quebec will issue a call for bids this week, and hopes work will be completed by mid-December with only one weekend closure.
Report due in mid-December
Who is responsible for the collapse of the concrete slab in July has yet to be determined.
Construction crews were doing work on the tunnel when the slab fell, and a preliminary report indicated that too much concrete was removed from a support pillar before the slab fell.
The firm doing the work has said it was following Transport Quebec's recommendations to the letter, so if too much was removed, the fault lies with the firm that made the recommendation.
The final report into the collapse should be completed by mid-December.
The paralumes are a safety hazard and will be removed (Oct. 19, 2011)
Laco Construction was doing maintenance work on the Viger Tunnel when it collapsed.
Caroline Larose of Transport Quebec (Oct. 18, 2011)