The stadium roof is not the only infrastructure in the Olympic Park that is in poor condition. A section of the Esplanade has been closed since 2021 because it has “significant structural damage,” La Presse has learned.
Published at 1:10 am. Updated at 5:00 am.
The engineers want to avoid the risk of “overloading” the concrete slab, which also serves as the roof of the huge underground car park. A contractor began installing several steel support beams in late January to stabilize the structure.
A report signed last spring by two civil engineers and obtained through access to information describes significant water infiltration through an expansion joint in poor condition that is degrading the concrete. The parking lot is not heated.
The Olympic Park would have to be done “very quickly”. […] “Limit operational overloads on the esplanade in the roof area that cause major structural damage,” concludes engineering firm GBI.
The esplanade will be completely renovated within ten years, according to the engineering firm's report.
“An area of about 1,500 square meters has been fenced off to avoid excessive pollution in the area,” confirmed Cédric Essiminy, communications manager of the Olympic Park. “The location is at the western end of the Esplanade. [Les clôtures] were launched on October 6, 2021.”
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Concerts and festivals are often held on the Olympic Stadium esplanade, but the park has “not noted any major impact on the staging of events on the esplanade.”
Exactly one overload caused the collapse of a concrete slab at the entrance to the park's underground car park in 2012. Miraculously no one was injured.
The organization assures that there is no need to worry about this situation.
“Although the area in question shows significant damage, this is not due to a lack of resistance, but rather to poor positioning of the expansion joints resulting from the construction of the car parks,” explained Mr Essiminy.
PHOTO OF GBI FIRM REPORT DELIVERED AT OLYMPIC STADIUM
Damage to a parking lot column
“It is important to know that the entire Olympic Park and its various facilities have been subject to continuous monitoring for more than twenty years,” he continued. In addition to the presence of a civil engineer who works full-time at the park, we systematically carry out a complete inspection of all our structures every five years. »
The engineers' report recommended that parking lots be cordoned off for safety reasons, but the Olympic Park concluded that above-ground fencing would be sufficient.
Since the area above the floor slab was secured and vehicle traffic in this area (and thus as a cargo depot) was prevented, there was no longer any danger for visitor parking spaces under the floor slab.
Cédric Essiminy, communications manager for the Olympic Park
However, due to stabilization work, almost 10% of the underground parking spaces will soon be occupied.
IMAGE FROM THE GBI COMPANY REPORT DELIVERED AT THE OLYMPIC STADIUM
Proposal for the installation of a support structure to stabilize the structure
“It is important to note that the Montreal Olympic Park has invested an average of 2.6 million per year in the maintenance of its parking lots since 2001,” he added.
Take “zero risk”.
Engineer Normand Tétreault is the founder of Soconex, a company specializing in concrete repairs. He has contracts with the Olympic Park.
In an interview with La Presse, he pointed out that the installation of barrier beams is a commonly used solution to stabilize structures. “We know that engineers never take risks,” he said. “What they are doing is allowing everything to be used ‘normally’ for the next 10 years,” pending a major renovation of the entire esplanade.
It will probably never collapse, but [les ingénieurs] Do not take any risks. Compared to the size of the Esplanade, these are very localized works.
Normand Tétreault, engineer
The renovation work on this part of the Esplande is not the only one on the Olympic Park program. The organization is currently looking for a contractor to “repair the main beams” of the P5 parking lot and has secured a contract to reinforce the base of five beams that form the skeleton of the stadium.
Engineering firm GBI will soon examine retaining walls, which will reveal “wear and tear” and “current damage” to the underground car park access ramps.