Airport Parkway bridge designer fires back at city

The design consultant for the delayed Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge project is firing back at the City of Ottawa after it was fired earlier this fall.

Genivar claims recommendations to improve design fell outside Genivar's purview

The design consultant for the delayed Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge project is firing back at the City of Ottawa after it was fired earlier this fall.

This summer, professional engineers raised concerns about the bridge's stay supporting system and steel anchorage piece at the top of the tower. The city hired an independent bridge engineering firm, Buckland & Taylor,  to investigate the concerns and come up with recommendations.

The city then asked the design consultant, Genivar, to make design modifications, and presented the company with a list of recommendations on Aug. 26.

A meeting to discuss those recommendations was held Aug. 29, Genivar said in a letter to Mayor Jim Watson.

According to last week's city council memo from Nancy Schepers, the city's deputy manger of planning and infrastructure, Genivar's services "were terminated" after "the city lost confidence with them" following "unproductive discussions" about the recommendations.

But Genivar president Marc Rivard said in his letter to Watson that the Aug. 29 meeting to discuss the recommendations went well.

"... Genivar was encouraged by the city’s willingness to work co-operatively. The city even requested Genivar to start preparing a budget for the redesign," Rivard's letter to Watson states.

Entire project under review

The next day, Rivard says the company was surprised to find out that it was suspended from the project. The official termination letter then came Sept. 5.

The city said last week it plans to sue to recover costs "including but not limited to" any delays, claims, design review changes and construction modifications, the Schepers' memo said.

Meanwhile, an independent review of the entire project for city council will look at internal and external factors, including the contractor, Louis W. Bray Construction Limited.

The last time the city commissioned such a review was after the sink hole that swallowed a car and driver in Orleans. The same contractor, Louis W. Bray, was cleaning out a storm drain pipe under Hwy. 174 in 2012 when it collapsed later that day.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.