Yesterday we looked at how the western side corners of the ‘abutments’ at the new Bayview LRT Bridge were done. On the west side, the corners were constructed using corner pieces, with a nicely beveled corner:
I was curious about how well the corners would stay together, since the side panels appear to simply rest against the corner blocks and do not have a ‘tongue-and-groove’ connection. The inside of the corner blocks have their own tie-back point, but that wouldn’t stop the sides from moving out, independent of the corner block.
The restraining straps holding the west abutment cladding in place are steel straps that were buried in the fill. Each layer of straps is added as the fill is added and packed to the right height. The straps get pinned in place by the next layer of fill…
On the east side, however, the steel straps were replaced with flexible plastic straps. They could be installed in advance and flipped out of the way until the fill was at the correct level. Then that layer of straps was flipped back into place and then buried.
If you have sharp eyes, will also notice behind the yellow handle of the packer, at the lower, right, that there are no corner blocks at all on this east side. The side panels simply abut at a 90 degree angle and don’t appear to lock together at all.
I am not sure if it is the lack of a corner block or the use of plastic retaining straps, or just an issue of workmanship, but the corner on the east side quickly looked like this:
Time will tell what happens to the cladding on the east side. Luckily, the bridge spans are held up by the pier, which is self standing, inside the ‘abutment’. And there is additional construction underway for station buildings that presently obscures the view of this corner, perhaps permanently.
— Richard Eade