Falling concrete on the Gardiner is often from trucks, not the aging highway

According to Toronto city numbers some of the falling concrete is from overloaded trucks, not the crumbling Gardiner expressway.

City numbers show only 25% of 86 cases of falling concrete were from the Gardiner

Chunk of concrete that fell from the Gardiner Expressway (City of Toronto )

According to the latest numbers from the city of Toronto, concrete falling off the Gardiner expressway is often coming from overloaded construction trucks not the aging highway.

The numbers, gathered for Maintenance and Traffic management found that out of 86 cases of falling concrete since 2012, only 25 percent came from the expressway. 

Toronto Police confirm that much of the concrete people assume is falling off the highway, is actually coming from overloaded construction trucks heading through the downtown core to the Portlands for reprocessing.

After several concrete falls were recorded from the Gardiner Expressway in 2012, the city enhanced its inspection and controlled chipping program. 

These are the number of calls for concrete falling since 2012:

  • In 2016, 13 calls were received, 2 were confirmed from the Gardiner.
  • In 2015, 20 calls were received, 6 were confirmed from the Gardiner.
  • In 2014, 19 calls were received, 4 were confirmed from the Gardiner.
  • In 2013, 24 calls were received, 5 were confirmed from the Gardiner.
  • In 2012, 9 calls were received, 4 were confirmed from the Gardiner.

Const. Clint Stibbe with Toronto Police traffic services says this is a multi-layer offence.

"The driver is the one transporting, but the reality is the driver isn't the one who loads that vehicle. It's the construction industry, so the loaders from the sites that are actually packing these vehicles too heavily or too high."

Because there are no truck scales along the Gardiner, Stibbe says they rely on random truck stops.

He says it's the drivers who are faced with the penalties.

"A small piece of concrete can make some damage but a large piece of concrete can kill somebody....our Commercial Motor Vehicle and Inspection Team are charging drivers for committing those kinds of offences"

Those vehicles are stopped from operating and are off-loaded to a safe weight. They may also face fines.

At this point, the loaders from the construction companies don't face any penalties, but Stibbe says there is new legislation being worked on to put more responsibility on the loaders.