Repairs on the retaining walls at the Westside Road Interchange are underway.
The contractor, Ledcor, will repair the affected retaining walls on both sides of the Westside Road Interchange, and is working around the clock to complete the repairs as quickly as possible.
At the west abutment where the facing panels collapsed, permanent repairs are expected to be completed by the end of January 2012.
During their investigation, engineers found a similar defect in the wall at the east abutment of the bridge. Repairs on the east abutment will start once the contractor has finalized a repair plan, and work will likely take a few months.
The investigation of the failure is ongoing. To date, engineers have not determined the cause. However, experts are focusing on the failure observed in the soil reinforcement bars where they are bent to hook into the connection at the back of the panels.
The bridge structure is safe, but will remain closed to traffic until all retaining wall repairs are complete. The cost of repairs will be borne by the contractor.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Westbank First Nation, Ledcor and its contractors are all working collaboratively to ensure these repairs happen as quickly as possible.
Motorists on Highway 97 can expect single-lane closures in both directions under the Westside Road overpass nightly between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. until further notice.
Lane closures will be removed each day by 5 a.m. to ensure two lanes are open in each direction for the morning commute.
In consultation with community leaders, the ministry will ensure that the contractor takes into consideration hockey games and Christmas events when planning any traffic pattern changes.
The overall value of the Westside Road Interchange project is $41.8 million, with funding from the provincial and federal governments. British Columbia invested $30.8 million, with a federal contribution of $11 million from the Building Canada Fund. The Westside Road Interchange opened to traffic on Oct. 29, 2011.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure