Canadian Consulting Engineer

Cracked tunnel closes area of downtown Montreal

As if falling bridges weren't enough, Montrealers have now faced the prospect of downtown subway tunnels cracking.

August 27, 2007   Canadian Consulting Engineer

As if falling bridges weren’t enough, Montrealers have now faced the prospect of downtown subway tunnels cracking.
A seven-block area of the downtown and underground shopping areas were cordoned off on Friday, August 24 after workers in the Bay Department store on de Maisonneuve Boulevard observed two large cracks in an underground tunnel connecting the store with the McGill station. Also a section of the Green Metro transit line was closed down.
The Bay employees were working in the store’s basement when they first noticed leaking from the ceiling. The ceiling had also dropped a few centimetres.
CIMA+ consulting engineers were asked to help the city investigate, and eventually crews installed about 1,000 posts to reinforce the concrete under de Maisonneuve Boulevard, which still remained closed to traffic by Monday, August 27.
According to CBC news, the crack in the underground passage measured seven metres long. One theory was that the cause of the leaking could be the 100-year old pipes that lie about five metres above the metro station and below the Bay.
Government authorities in Quebec are being extra cautious and alert to the possibility of infrastructure failing after the fatal collapse of a highway overpass last September.


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