Westside Road Interchange repairs to be completed by mid March

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the final phase of repairs to the interchange will begin this week.

Engineers look at the debris from the retaining wall of the Westside Road Interchange

Engineers look at the debris from the retaining wall of the Westside Road Interchange

Initially it was predicted that repairs to the Westside Road Interchange would be finished in the late stages of January.

Now the prediction is mid March.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Wednesday that work will begin this week on the final phase of repairs to the retaining walls of the overpass.

Ledcor, the contractor for the Westside Road Interchange project, is starting the process to attach the finishing panels.

The first phase of repair work at both the west and east abutments is complete and involved the preparation of a mounting surface for the finishing panels.

Work also included removing all the panels under the abutments on both walls, preparing soil and placing shotcrete on the exposed face of the soil to prevent weathering.

According to the ministry, the wall failure was a unique event and the retrofitting of the panels is a complex process.

“To design a repair that ensures quality and durability required more time than anticipated,” the ministry said in in a statement released on Wednesday.

On Nov. 20, 2011, the facing panels of the west abutment retaining wall at the Westside Road Interchange collapsed.

After the collapse, the province engaged Buckland and Taylor Ltd. to investigate the cause.

Their testing of materials from the site has determined embrittlement at the bends in certain steel reinforcement bars connecting the concrete facing panels was a contributing factor in the collapse.

The investigation into the failure is continuing and includes detailed geotechnical analysis, further materials testing, analysis of soil settlement, mapping of the failure areas and analysis of findings from taking apart the opposite wall to learn about other factors that may have contributed to the collapse.

Current traffic patterns will remain in place until further notice.

Kelowna Capital News