8 steel rods break on convention centre seawall
Eight steel rods have broken on the seawall around the P.E.I. Convention Centre.
The $24 million waterfront convention centre in Charlottetown has been beset by problems. Crews are watching one more rod that seems to be in trouble.
The rods hold the seawall in place. The problems have raised questions about the stability of the waterfront site.
The centre opened last summer. The land has had problems before. In 2011, before construction began, steel sheets were driven into the harbour to stabilize the land.
Essentially your first line of defence from the water is the seawall and if that wall fails, then it's just going to be compounded.- James Aylward
The anchorage system failed, causing the steel sheets to twist, bend and buckle.
A Nova Scotia engineering company stabilized the site by mixing cement directly into the ground.
Then 49 heavy rods were attached to the seawall, anchored by a large concrete structure.
No cause for concern, says CADC
Ron Waite of the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation said the rods broke under tremendous pressure.
"What that pressure was is still to be determined,” he said.
The latest problem was discovered in October and engineers have been working on a solution. They plan to cut through the seawall and reattach the rods in the spring. That work is expected to cost about $100,000.
But James Aylward, tourism critic for the Progressive Conservatives, said he's concerned about the structural failure of the seawall and what it means to the $24 million convention centre.
“The whole complex is built on reclaimed land and the seawall was put there to hold the land in place,” he said.
“Yes, there’s other footings and foundations in place, but essentially your first line of defence from the water is the seawall and if that wall fails, then it’s just going to be compounded.”
But Waite said the stability of the centre itself is not a concern. “It’s an independent structure from the seawall,” he said.
The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation will monitor the seawall over the winter.