Concrete dumped in city sewer “not going anywhere”
The city will need to reroute sewage under the future James Street North GO Station after a truckload of concrete was dumped into an old sewer.
It’s believed a construction crew working on the site east of the MacNab Street bridge accidentally drilled into an 85-year-old trunk sewer last week then proceeded to pour in at least a truckload of concrete meant to fill caissons.
“We won’t be able to remove the concrete. We’re talking about an old sewer, at least 85 years old, made of three layers of brick. Now that it’s in there, (the concrete is) not going anywhere,” city wastewater director Dan McKinnon said Monday.
McKinnon said at least one truckload of concrete was dumped into the 0.9-by-1.2-metre, egg-shaped sewer tunnel before workers realized the mistake.
Spokesperson Vanessa Thomas said Monday Metrolinx is still investigating the incident, but an update on how it happened and what comes next wasn’t available.
McKinnon said he expects a new section of sewer line up to 100 metres in length will need to be built around the concrete obstruction but added project details are still being worked out.
City and Metrolinx officials were meeting with the GO Station contractor Monday afternoon to talk about a solution. McKinnon said the city is not on the hook for the cost, which he estimated could exceed $200,000.
In the meantime, the city has set up pumps and a temporary sewer line to keep sewage flowing in the area.
McKinnon said local basements shouldn’t be at risk of flooding because the area is served by a “backup system” — basically, a huge sewage holding tank under Bayfront Park that sucks up overflow in storms or heavy rains.
Metrolinx is building a two-storey GO station at James Street North that includes a platform extending under Bay Street North. The first phase of the new “mobility hub” is supposed to be ready in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games next July.
Metrolinx also had its hands full co-ordinating construction with a recently completed bridge replacement by CN over nearby Bay Street because the bridge abutments have to accommodate the planned pedestrian platform for GO. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)