Minister's Statement on Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway
Today, Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, released the following statement on the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway in Windsor:
"Earlier today, the Windsor Essex Mobility Group (WEMG) and Parkway Infrastructure Constructors (PIC) announced that they were rejecting and replacing the 500 girders manufactured by their supplier.
I am pleased that WEMG/PIC has decided to do the right thing and take responsibility for the actions of its subcontractor.
From the beginning, I have been clear that the girders in question would be removed, unless their safety and durability could be assured. That is why I asked independent experts to review certain girders, and why I directed the ministry to conduct testing on the supplier's girders.
Representatives from WEMG/ PIC attended the additional testing. What they observed during the testing process caused them to lose confidence in these girders and make this decision. The ministry's chief engineer accepts this recommendation from WEMG/PIC.
The Independent Expert Review also reviewed some additional girders and today released their supplemental report on these additional girders, now available online at www.independentexpertreview.ca.
The Ministry of Transportation's chief engineer has been reviewing this report and has recommended that a program of monitoring and enhanced inspection be put in place for these additional girders. I have accepted that recommendation for the Hearthwood Tunnel (T-10B).
I have directed that the girders on the North Talbot Road Bridge (B-15) be tested to ensure their safety and durability. This would require the bridge to remain closed while the testing is conducted.
In recognition of the important economic and transportation role the bridge has in the community, WEMG/PIC has decided to rebuild the North Talbot Road Bridge to ensure it is open as quickly as possible. The ministry will conduct its testing while the bridge is being rebuilt.
Safety of the travelling public has always been my motivation. The removal of these girders does not come at any additional cost to the taxpayer - the costs are the responsibility of WEMG.The Parkway will be a vital transportation link for the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor when it is completed. I thank the community in advance for their continued patience and cooperation and thank WEMG/PIC for doing the right thing for the people of Windsor and Essex County."