Canadian Consulting Engineer

More than a white elephant

Well, we did ask "Dare we say it?" when we reported in June/July last year that the Montreal Olympic Stadium was to have a new fabric roof by January. Indeed, the roof was finished in time, only to be...

March 1, 1999   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Well, we did ask “Dare we say it?” when we reported in June/July last year that the Montreal Olympic Stadium was to have a new fabric roof by January. Indeed, the roof was finished in time, only to be torn and partially collapse a few weeks later when heavy snow and ice pooled in one of the largest of its panels.

None of the parties responsible for the roof — not Birdair who made the fibre-glass and PVC roof for $37 million, not the Olympic Installations Board which runs the stadium, nor Rousseau Sauv Warren, the consulting engineers who designed it — would talk to us about what caused the rip. The Board has relocated its exhibitions to an underground parking lot nearby and was awaiting engineering reports guaranteeing the integrity of any repairs before it let the public back inside the stadium. Frustrated citizens, however, are fed up with paying out for the ill-fated behemoth which has cost $2 billion since it was constructed in 1976, and were calling for it to be torn down.


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