Friday , August 19 2022

City inspectors noted problems with LRT switch heaters in two winters and noted serious gaps by the March deadline


Just two months before the missed LRT transmission in March, city inspectors are still finding problems with track switch heaters that do not operate in harsh winter conditions and get a cold shoulder from the builder when it comes to mandatory reporting.

Dozens of LRT construction shortage reports recently released by the city cover the period between November 22, 2018 and March 28, 2019, when the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) pushed after missing the previous November 2, 2018 broadcast. meet the new submission deadline of March 31st.

The current deadline for submission comes on Friday, but even that seems to be up in the air as the city has not updated the council since Thursday within the required 12 consecutive testing days. The twelve days since the trial actually ended last Friday.

The latest package of deficiency reports illustrates the challenges that RTG and the city are trying to overcome, even in the weeks leading up to the submission deadline.

According to Confederate line mismatch reports filed in the project database, the sharp eyes of city inspectors last winter are still discovering problems with switching heaters, above-ground wire systems, surveillance cameras and central control, which ultimately lead to the announcement to the city on March 5 that the broadcast on March 31 would not happen.

A Feb. 7 report describes how the city in winter 2018 "expressed concern about the effectiveness of switch heaters to prevent ice and snow from accumulating and switch points and switch rods immobilized" and how the installer of the switch switch heater with all 26 baseline heaters, with RTG taking "corrective action".

"Despite these corrective actions, switching heaters, at numerous turns, continue to face challenges during heavy snowfall (sic)," the report said.

The City reported to RTG 50 cases of switching heaters that did not function properly between November 13, 2018 and January 19, 2019.

"These recurring effects of the efficiency of the heater switch can be an indication of more fundamental problems with the type of equipment and / or installation," the report said.

By March, the city has publicly stated that winter operations will be stepped up and more resources will be allocated to maintain the LRT winter, especially to cope with the amount of snow that Ottawa typically receives.

On Thursday, O-Train Construction Director Michael Morgan said in an email sent through the communications department: "The city is currently reviewing documentation for the renovation work undertaken by Rideau Transit Group to make sure switching heaters will work as needed, moving forward. "

City inspectors found some other worrying shortcomings in the construction of LRT in winter.

A Feb. 22 report drew attention to the installation of an overhead duct system after visual inspections revealed that there were incorrect connections between the anchor rods and the concrete piers. There have also been other cases "where the concrete pier has been torn off, damaged or shows concrete that is deteriorating," the report said.

(This newspaper reports other non-conformance reports warning about the quality of concrete under the LRT project).

Another February report said that the balance weights, as part of the overhead tensioning system, "were not installed correctly"

The city also believes the builder did not put enough insulation on the above-ground sewer system between the wires and the supporting structures. Either provide a technical justification for the construction or apply to change the wording of the contract, the city told RTG in a report.

The reports show that the city is concerned that RTG may not run trains on a single 15-minute track in the event of a rail disruption as agreed. A January 9 report said that during this inspection, there would be no service between two stations in the event of a track obstruction.

According to Morgan, "the city is currently awaiting a final RTG test report to close" the one-way non-compliance report.

The city also monitored the installation of the surveillance camera system.

On Jan. 21, a city inspector noted in his report the "swinging" cameras at Tunis Pastures and Pimissi stations, causing motion blurring.

"There is also concern that city security officers tasked with watching or viewing video footage from these cameras will be subject to motion sickness or similar ailments," the report said.

On March 6, a city inspector discovered that closed-circuit television cameras have several blind spots and do not provide adequate security coverage. In one case, a sign prevented the camera from showing the entire platform of the station.

The shortage reports suggest the city has struggled to collect the necessary RTG documentation.

On February 22, the city announced that RTG had failed to draw up an asset management plan 60 days before the March 31 handover date. The consortium was under contract to send the plan to the city at that time.

In the last days of January, the city did not see test results from central emergency management systems for some stations or evidence that the emergency shutdown system could be used by the control center. At that time, the city did not receive test procedures for what happens if there is a failure in the LRT system.

On top of that, RTG had 10 days to resubmit work plans on project elements when the city rejected the plan, but a March 28 report states that the city did not receive applications within the deadline or even received expansion requests in five cases by RTG.

Asked if RTG met its reporting requirements, Morgan said: "The city is working diligently with RTG to handle any outstanding (non-compliance reports) prior to having revenue service."


City inspectors were busy in January.

They found several gaps in the security fence (filed 70 photos in January) and places where the fence was not high enough. They found that event loggers were unable to collect complete data on brake cylinder pressure on trains. And inspectors realized that the builder was not using pipe sleeves to run water through underground stations, contrary to the contract, raising questions about what would happen if any of those pipes leaked.

In a February report, a city inspector could not understand why RTG would replace the steel barriers with a chain link fence at the Lees Avenue overpass. Steel bulkheads are a safety feature that prevents vehicles out of control from coming down the tracks.

The city and RTG scuffled in a February report on emergency energy delivery.

The city has accused RTG of "using" the contract's interpretation when it comes to supplying uninterrupted electricity during interruptions at some underground stations. In the report, RTG defended its backup backup method, prompting the city to request evidence that RTG was "professionally satisfied" that backup power would last long enough to save emergency passengers.

Non-conformance reporting is a regular part of construction project management. RTG inspectors and city inspectors can report leaks. So far, a total of 882 LRT project reports have been registered.

Almost all non-compliance reports created between November 13, 2018 and January 19, 2019 have been submitted by the city's audit team.

Access expert Ken Rubin won a ruling from the Provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner last year, which forced the city to release LRT non-compliance reports on request. The city coped with the release of the documents, but RTG did not block it and blocked their release, so Rubin turned to the Information Commissioner.

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