Ice storm delays Hamilton Pan Am stadium construction by 2 weeks

Crews are working double time on the new Pan Am stadium to make up for a two-week delay caused in part by a recent ice storm.
Construction on the new Pan Am stadium is delayed about two weeks. Crews will start pulling double shifts in February to make up for the lost time. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Crews are working double time on the new Pan Am stadium to make up for a two-week delay caused in part by a recent ice storm.

The late-December ice storm, combined with problems with a masonry company, has slowed construction on the new Tim Horton's Field, said Garreth Barkey, site supervisor with Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.

In early February, crews will start working double shifts, which will continue until the June 30 deadline, Barkey said. So he’s confident the stadium will be ready on time.

“We all want to meet this date so we can deliver for the city of Hamilton and the Ticats as well as ourselves,” Barkey said after a Pan Am subcommittee meeting Tuesday.

The stadium is more than half done, and will be 95 per cent done by the time it hands over the keys to the city in June, he said.

I wasn't comfortable with it.- Coun. Lloyd Ferguson on the stadium's progress

“We’re very confident.”

The ice storm knocked out power for some parts of Hamilton for as long as four days. Other areas, such as Toronto, were out longer.

That impacted suppliers and manufacturers, which made it difficult to get deliveries and run equipment, Barkey said. Some workers couldn’t even get to the site.

“There are a lot of direct and indirect effects when weather events like that happen,” he said.

Also in December, the Kitchener-Waterloo masonry company hired to do the brick work went into receivership, he said. A Toronto company has since replaced it.

Barkey dismissed rumours that soil instability contributed to the delay. He just heard the rumour last week and was “very surprised” by it, he said.

“The ground itself is a native shale,” he said. “The areas that the structures are built on are concrete pad footings. All of the pad footings are founded on sound material. That is, yes, a rumour.”

Tim Horton's Field — by the numbers

Total cost: $147.5 million

Federal share: $69 million

Provincial share: $22 million 

City contribution: $54 million

Deadline for completion: June 30, 2014

Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, chair of the Pan Am subcommittee, has a background in construction. When he drove by the site on the weekend, he said, it didn't look as far along as he thought it would.

“I wasn’t comfortable with it,” he said. “I’ve been working with staff on the last few days getting an update.”

But he feels better now that he's heard about the double shifts, he said.

The Pan Am precinct will get a flurry of new development in the next two years. This will include a new high school, a new recreation and seniors centre and a new outdoor sports complex. The city will begin some “shave and pave” road work later this year to spruce of the streets for the development, and for the 2015 Pan Am Games, said Gerry Davis, head of public works.

The new 22,500-seat stadium will host 32 soccer games for the 2015 Pan Am Games. It is also the future home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

It costs $147.5 million, with the city contributing $54 million. The delay will not affect the budget, Barkey said.


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