Steel rods break in seawall around convention centre

Dave Stewart
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CADC says repairs will cost about $100,000 and take place in the spring

Brian Moase of Williams, Murphy and MacLeod, installs glass in the handrail on the deck at the P.E.I. Convention Centre in this Guardian file photo.

The seawall around the P.E.I. Convention Centre will need repairs this spring after eight steel rods broke a few months ago.

Ron Waite, general manager of the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, said they discovered the breaks in late October but repairs can't be carried out until the ice in the Hillsborough River moves out.

Those repairs will cost approximately $100,000, with each rod running between $10,000 and $15,000.

"Given its history, we've been keeping an eye on it,'' Waite said of the seawall around the $24 million convention centre that has been a headache for CADC.

Back in 2011, before construction began, steel sheets were driven into the harbour to stabilize the land after the anchorage system failed, causing the steel sheets to twist, bend and buckle.

"Last October we discovered, during a routine inspection, that we had five anchors on the east wall that were broken and then we did a full inspection of all the anchors and found an additional three on the south wall.''

There are about 50 anchors in the system around the waterfront convention centre.

A Nova Scotia engineering company was engaged to survey the wall and see if there was any movement. They found some movement so CADC began to monitor things on a daily basis to ensure there wasn't a dramatic shift.

The engineers have determined that the wall is safe and stable. Tests were conducted at Dalhousie University's engineering school in Halifax to come up with a solution.

"They can go in from the exterior of the wall, cut out a section, go in and do their repairs and then re-secure those anchors to the wall.''

Waite said the engineers can only speculate as to what cause the rods to break - hairline cracks occurred when the wall was being straightened or sometime during the construction phase they got overloaded with equipment right next to the wall.

Waite said the stability of the convention centre itself is not an issue.

"Both the convention centre and the deck surrounding it are on a totally independent pile system. The soil between the seawall and the convention centre is where the boardwalk is at. That would be the area that would be most affected by this.

"From a structural point of view the convention centre is on a pile-supported slab that's totally independent of the wall.''

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Charlottetown Area Development, P.E.I. Convention Centre, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Hillsborough River, Nova Scotia, Halifax

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Recent comments

  • Kee Bone Oh
    January 31, 2014 - 11:54

    Can't say they weren't warned but what did they really have to lose from their own pockets in the case of failures? My only surprise is that these failures are happening so soon.

  • ben
    January 31, 2014 - 09:35

    has been a headache from day one, with the seas rising it will be interesting to see the future of this interprise.

  • Unbelievable
    January 31, 2014 - 08:53

    Engineers 'can only speculate',,,,, They reclaimed land to put that wall !!!! Mother Nature will surely take care of that area and storm surges will take care of the Convention Centre and more of downtown Charlottetown. All an aware person needs to do is see the changes made during each and every rough sea around PEI to know that this little island is getting smaller and smaller. Waterfront is beautiful,,,, enjoy it, protect it, but don't build on it.

  • Unbelievable
    January 31, 2014 - 08:53

    Engineers 'can only speculate',,,,, They reclaimed land to put that wall !!!! Mother Nature will surely take care of that area and storm surges will take care of the Convention Centre and more of downtown Charlottetown. All an aware person needs to do is see the changes made during each and every rough sea around PEI to know that this little island is getting smaller and smaller. Waterfront is beautiful,,,, enjoy it, protect it, but don't build on it.

  • Resident
    January 31, 2014 - 08:07

    Delta had seawall problems for years. The Convention Centre enables Delta to pass the problem to taxpayers.

  • how old is this?
    January 30, 2014 - 17:41

    Who pays? Was there nothing for maintenance and repairs in the tender? Ohhhhhhh sorry, tenders are a thing of past governments. Go Robbie Go

  • Arnot
    January 30, 2014 - 14:57

    ...and just how many "Centuries" ( or could it be Millenniums) have people been making Seawalls - "successfully" - around the world, including usually in Canada?

    • SlyFox
      January 30, 2014 - 17:01

      It is not the seawall that is the problem.It is the anchors that hold the seawall in place.One has to remember this is man made land,which mean every thing was dumped there and built on.I believe there was even a problem with the hotel sinking some when first built.So the real problem is the ground that on which it is built.The ground will probably compact with the weight of the building but then again nothing is foolproof.

  • don
    January 30, 2014 - 14:21

    great more tax payers money down the drain. i can see this place ending up in the harbor. or closed due to not being safe "white elephant.