Olympic Park | A fenced section to avoid any risk of collapse

The stadium roof is not the only infrastructure in poor condition at the Olympic Park. A section of the Esplanade has been fenced off since 2021 because it has “major structural damage”, it has been learned The Press.

The engineers thus want to avoid the risk of an “overload” on the concrete slab, which also serves as the roof of the immense underground parking lot. A contractor began installing several steel support beams at the end of January to stabilize the structure.

A report signed by two structural engineers last spring and obtained through access to information describes significant water infiltration through an expansion joint in poor condition, infiltration which degrades the concrete. The parking lot is not heated.

The Olympic Park must “in the very short term (…) limit operating overloads on the esplanade in the roof sector presenting major structural damage”, concludes the engineering firm GBI.

The Esplanade will be completely redone within ten years, says the report from the engineering firm.

“An area of ​​approximately 1,500 square feet was fenced off to avoid excessive loads in the area,” confirmed Cédric Essiminy, communications manager for the Olympic Park. “The location is at the west end of the esplanade. (The fences) were put in place on October 6, 2021.”


The Esplanade of the Olympic Stadium frequently hosts concerts and festivals, but “no major impact with the holding of events on the Esplanade has been noted” by the Park.

It was precisely an overload that led to the collapse of a concrete slab at the entrance to the Park’s underground parking lot in 2012. Miraculously, no one was injured.

“Notable damage”

The organization assures that there is no need to worry about this situation.

“Although the area in question presents notable damage, this is not caused by a lack of resistance, but rather by poor positioning of the expansion joints dating back to the construction of the parking lots,” indicated Mr. Essiminy.


Damage to a parking lot column

“It is important to know that the entire Olympic Park and its various facilities have been subject to continuous monitoring for more than twenty years,” he continued. In addition to counting on the presence of a structural engineer who works full-time at the Park, we systematically carry out a complete inspection of all of our structures every five years. »

The engineers’ report recommended blocking off parking spaces for security purposes, but the Olympic Park found that above-ground fencing was sufficient.

Given that the area was secured above the slab, preventing vehicle traffic in the area (and therefore a load depot), there was no longer any risk under the slab for visitor parking.

Cédric Essiminy, communications manager for the Olympic Park

However, nearly 10% of the underground parking spaces will be imminently occupied by stabilization work.


Proposal for support structure to be installed to stabilize the structure

“It is important to point out that since 2001, the Montreal Olympic Park has invested an average of 2.6 million per year for the maintenance of its parking lots,” he added.

“Zero risk” to take

Engineer Normand Tétreault is the founder of Soconex, a firm specializing in concrete repair. He has contracts with the Olympic Park.

In interview with The Press, he indicated that the installation of shoring beams was a frequently used solution to stabilize structures. “We know that engineers never take risks,” he said. “What they are doing is so that everything can be used “normally” for the next 10 years”, until the major renovation of the entire Esplanade.

Probably it will never collapse, but (the engineers) are taking zero risks. These are very localized works compared to the size of the Esplanade.

Normand Tétreault, engineer

The renovation work on this part of the Esplande is not the only one on the Olympic Park program. The organization is currently looking for a contractor to carry out the “repair of the main beams” of the P5 parking lot and has entered into a contract to reinforce the base of five of the beams which form the skeleton of the Stadium.

Engineering firm GBI will soon inspect retaining walls showing “wear and tear” and “current damage” to underground parking access ramps.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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