Peace Bridge plagued by further delays

Completion of Calgary's controversial Peace Bridge has once again been delayed.
The opening of the Peace Bridge, seen here in November 2010, has been pushed back again because of welding issues. There is no word on when it will now be completed. ((CBC))

Completion of Calgary's controversial Peace Bridge has once again been delayed.

The pedestrian bridge over the Bow River downtown was scheduled to open this summer.

However, the City of Calgary said late Friday that its opening had been pushed back because of welds that don't meet quality standards.

Spot inspections done in recent days have revealed that welds made in the subassemblies constructed in Spain are in non-conformance, the city said in a news release.

"The city hired an independent company here to spot check welds completed in Spain," Mac Logan, the city's transportation general manager, said in a statement. "The company determined some of the welds do not comply, so we will be taking more time to conduct further inspections.

"Only after the inspections are complete can we determine what additional work may be required and how long that work will take."

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the bridge, a tubular structure that will connect Eau Claire to Sunnyside.

The $24.5-million structure's original opening date was fall 2010, which was put off in September 2010 to January 2011.

Then the city said in November that the project wouldn't be finished until late spring due to problems with the welding.

The city is working with Graham Infrastructure, the company hired to assemble the bridge components in Canada, to ensure all the welds completed in Spain meet quality standards, the news release said.

Additional inspections will be done and experts will be brought in to assess the results.

Major subassemblies were constructed and inspected in Spain by subcontractors hired by Graham Infrastructure prior to the bridge components being shipped to Canada, the city said.

"There are thousands of metres of welds in this project because it is a single-span steel structure," said Logan. "We want to ensure the welds meet industry and quality standards before the bridge is opened to the public."