Ottawa LRT service halted for ‘structural inspection’ at St. Laurent station

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Canadian Press

Ottawa’s light rail train service around three stations was halted for more than six hours last week, after concrete debris on the tracks of an LRT station tunnel.

City infrastructure workers completed a safety inspection at the St. Laurent station tunnel.

Carina Duclos, the acting general manager of the city’s infrastructure and water services department, said in a memo to the mayor and councillors Jan. 9 that the inspection found delamination, which involves the separation of the paste layer at the surface, creating an unbonded layer with the main slab of concrete.

The tunnel was originally built in the mid-’80s and it is not unusual to see this type of problem in an older structure.

The capital city’s LRT system, some of which incorporated existing infrastructure, has been beset by repeated problems and constant service shutdowns because of jammed doors, damaged wheels and icy weather that shorted out electrical wires have repeatedly affected service and serious safety issues with the train’s track construction led to a month-long shutdown last summer.

A public inquiry in 2022 reported problems stemming from political and business decisions to rush the system into service despite significant known issues with testing, particularly in Ottawa’s winter climate.

OC Transpo told commuters via social media Tuesday morning that this time, the stations were closed “out of an abundance of caution.”

Previous issues with tunnels and stations include a sewage line leak in the system’s earliest days that filled two downtown stations with an unpleasant odour.

Last spring, the tunnel under the city’s downtown was closed briefly to repair water that was leaking through the walls.

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