Former alderman and mayoral candidate Ric McIver says he confirmed problems with the Peace Bridge with city manager Owen Tobert before the Oct. 18 election.
Last month, a source familiar with the controversial project told CBC News there were issues with the welding done in Spain by the manufacturer prior to the components' arrival in Canada. Construction workers were told the project would be delayed by six months, the source said.
City officials told CBC News at the time there weren't any problems with the pedestrian bridge that will span the Bow River in downtown Calgary.
This week, it was revealed that the project is six months behind schedule due to problems with the bridge's welding, which has to be redone. The bridge is now expected to open sometime in late spring.
McIver laughed when he heard the news this week that the city had announced the delay.
"I'm not going to accuse anyone of dishonesty, but there's a competence issue here," said McIver.
When asked about the discrepancy, Tobert said he was told at the time there were no problems, and that subsequently he found out that information was wrong.
'It sounds like delays of convenience' — Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart
"I later found out that the quality was good, however workmen came from Spain to finish working on the bridge. And that's all I know."
The work has to be redone because the architect was unhappy with the quality of the welds, there being issues with the smoothness and finish, Calgary transportation manager Mac Logan said Tuesday.
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart wasn't happy to hear the bridge is further behind schedule, and was even more perturbed to hear the problems are coming to light now when city officials allegedly knew something was wrong a month ago.
"It sounds like delays of convenience and … it concerns me, quite frankly," said Colley-Urquhart.
The company building the bridge refused to comment on the delay, referring media inquiries to the city.