Transport Canada mum on Ambassador Bridge inspection reports

Transport Canada is not releasing the results of its last two inspections of the Ambassador Bridge.
(Michael Evans/CBC)

Transport Canada is not releasing the results of its last two inspections of the Ambassador Bridge.

Officials with Transport Canada carried out a bridge inspection Thursday evening, the agency's second bridge inspection since the summer.

Though the agency flagged several issues to the company in that earlier inspection, details are unavailable without filing an access to information request.

Thursday's inspections came in the wake of rival press conferences between city and bridge officials over who's to blame for debris falling from the 86-year-old border crossing.

The city first reported the falling debris Oct. 9, when it closed down portions of streets in the area.

Usually small cracks in bridge concrete can be patched up. But with the gaping holes in the Ambassador Bridge, repair work is going to be more complex — and costly, Shaohong Cheng, a civil engineering professor at the University of Windsor, told CBC News in an interview.

One option is to replace the damaged section of the bridge, but that is difficult with the bridge's status as one of the busiest border crossings in North America, Cheng said.

Another remedy is a special network of sensors monitored by a team tracking weather and wind patterns to identify repairs as soon as they are needed.

On Thursday afternoon Mayor Drew Dilkens told members of the media that Transport Canada had sent inspectors to Windsor. The Transport Canada staff in the image above were seen near the intersection of Huron Church Road and Donnelly Street, but they did not confirm that they were inspectors. (CBC)

"The bottom line is cost, right?" Cheng said. "So, if funds, ample funds, are available, there could be more frequent inspections or more involved inspections."

Bridge debris has caused some problems for university students parking their cars underneath the bridge.

Karim Jomaa said some concrete fell on his Mercedes. Since then he's changed cars and moved his parking spot.

"I knew something was wrong when I found some concrete on the car," Jomaa said. "It started worrying me a little bit. I've seen they've added a walkway that takes care of the students, but again the cars are another concern that they need to address."

With a report from the CBC's Shaun Malley