Herb Gray Parkway retaining walls being reviewed

Questions are being raised about another infrastructure component on the Herb Gray Parkway.


Review underway for support panels lining Herb Gray parkway project. (Aadel Haleem/CBC News)

Questions are being raised about another infrastructure component on the Herb Gray Parkway.

The province has launched a review of the honeycomb-shaped support panels, or retaining walls, that line the parkway project. 

In 2013 more than 300 substandard concrete girders were built by Freyssinet and installed. They are being replaced.

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure is denying there is any deficiency with the panels.

"After the independent review last year was complete [regarding the girders], I ordered a comprehensive review of all components of the Windsor-Essex Parkway," said Murray. "We've been doing rigorous testing of every single component of the project."

Infrastructure Ontario supported Murray's statements.

Damian Joy, its interim executive director, told CBC News they want to "be sure" the project is constructed safely.

"We've been reviewing many elements of the project. We've reviewed the major structural components," he said. "It's a wide-ranging review so we can be really sure that there is no problem with the design and construction of the project having had the experience we had last year regarding the girders. It's just making sure with an abundance of caution that everything is properly constructed."

Joy guaranteed the retaining walls are safe.

"We have a higher standard for evaluating our projects than any other jurisdiction than I am aware of," said Murray.

But, Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield still had some questions.

"Where was the government oversight? Where were the ministry inspectors?" he said. "Where were the engineers on the design of it and during the installation of the walls?"

Hatfield said his concern was rooted in the fact that these reviews have been done after the installation.

"It's still the government doing it in hindsight. You have to provide quality control. You have to provide supervision," he said. "It didn't happen with the girders and it appears it's not happening now."

Cindy Prince, a spokesperson for the parkway infrastructure constructors said construction hasn't stopped for now.

The girders on the parkway are still in the process of being removed.