Work will begin this week on the final phase of repairs to the Westside Road Interchange retaining walls. Ledcor, the contractor for the Westside Road Interchange project, is starting the process to attach the finishing panels, and anticipates repairs will be complete by mid-March.
The first phase of repair works at both the west and east abutments is complete, and involved the preparation of a mounting surface for the finishing panels. Work 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.
The wall failure was a unique event, and the retrofitting of the panels is a complex process. As such, to design a repair that ensures quality and durability required more time than anticipated. The ministry recognizes and thanks West Kelowna and area residents, as well as other users of the highway, for being extremely patient throughout this process, and they can rest assured that their safety is the ministry's utmost concern.
On Nov. 20, 2011, the facing panels of the west abutment retaining wall at the Westside Road Interchange collapsed. The Province engaged Buckland and Taylor Ltd., an internationally-renowned bridge engineering firm, 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 thorough 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. The ministry will continue to ensure that any traffic pattern changes take into consideration hockey games and other community events.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure