UPDATE: Evergreen Line truss issue blamed on operator error

Operator error is being blamed for an equipment failure that caused a truss to slip while putting in a piece of the Evergreen Line
Operator error is being blamed for an equipment failure that caused a truss to slip while putting in a piece of the Evergreen Line's concrete guideway last month.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Operator error is being blamed a large gantry crane slipping June 17 during placement of a concrete guideway for the Evergreen Line on North Road near Foster Avenue in Coquitlam.

The incident shut down North Road during the afternoon rush hour while crews worked to re-position the beam and halted construction for 10 days pending an investigation.

On Friday, B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure said work would resume in the area after officials determined that operator error caused the equipment failure.

Amanda Farrell, the Evergreen Line project director, said the truss has been reinforced and new procedures have been put in place to prevent a similar incident from occurring.

"Essentially, there are two operators that control the [truss] movement," she told The Tri-City News. "I guess what happened was that one of them got out of sync with the other. That created tension… and it put too much stress on this particular connection and the connection failed."

She added that despite the slip, the truss was supported at all times and that nobody was hurt in the incident.

Tri-City residents have likely seen the large blue and yellow gantry crane, which has been working its way up North Road for the last several months. Farrell said the equipment is commonly used in large infrastructure projects and neither the manufacturer nor the Evergreen Line contractor has had problems with the truss before.

It is not the first time issues with the SkyTrain's guideway have caused a road closure. In March, a section of Como Lake Avenue was closed in both directions after a massive concrete beam shifted above Clarke Road. Farrell said the recent crane issue was not related to the March incident.



Daytime closures can be expected on North Road at Foster Avenue this week as work in the area continues on the Evergreen Line's elevated guideway.

Turning restrictions on Foster Avenue will also be in effect between 6 a.m. and midnight. During that time, drivers heading south on North Road will not be able to turn left on Foster while drivers heading west on Foster will not be able to turn onto North Road. Right-hand turns on Foster will be allowed.

Motorists are advised to watch their speed and drive with caution when traveling through the area. Traffic control workers will be on hand to assist drivers and efforts will be made to minimize noise and disruptions.

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