Skip to content

Repair of collapsed shoring wall at Coquitlam construction site expected to begin this week

Nobody was injured in the collapse that occurred Nov. 29.
Earth piled into an excavation site at 500 Foster Ave. supports a temporary shoring wall that collapsed last Wednesday.

The westbound lanes on Foster Avenue are open to traffic again.

But the two eastbound lanes remains closed to allow repair work to continue on an excavation for a new 41-storey Coquitlam condo project.

A temporary shoring wall collapsed into the excavation on Nov. 29, sending dirt and rock cascading into the hole that’s to become the foundation and underground parking garage for the Vue condo project by Vancouver-based developer Amacon.

Nobody was injured.

A spokesperson for Amacon said the problem with the shoring wall was detected several hours before it collapsed, allowing trades workers to evacuate and Foster Avenue to be closed preemptively.

Stepan Vdovine, the company’s vice-president of executive operations, said all work at the site was being done "with appropriate permits, consistent oversight and monitoring," adding its contractors "are some of the most experienced trades and engineers in the region."

But a professor of structural engineering at UBC's department of civil engineering said his viewing of a video of the collapse that was posted on social media raises questions about the way the shoring wall may have been constructed.

Dr. Perry Adebar told the Tri-City News poor application of the sprayed shotcrete that is used to construct such temporary structures may have been a factor in its collapse. He also said he didn’t note a welded wire mesh that is typically used to reinforce such a wall and help it adhere to the excavation’s dirt sides.

Vdovine said the company’s investigation into what caused the collapse is ongoing, adding the halt to construction isn't likely to have an impact on the overall completion of the developoment.

"In the lifespan of a construction cycle the delay, while unfortunate, is minimal," he said.

Officers from WorkSafeBC also attended the site.

Since the collapse, Amacon has backfilled the excavation with tons of dirt to stabilize the wall. Crews worked through the night for several days, but have since scaled back to regular construction hours.

According to a statement on a special website created by the City of Coquitlam to keep neighbouring residents updated, repair of the shoring wall is expected to begin this week.

"The geotechnical engineers have developed a remediation strategy for the shoring wall, so on-site repair work will be proceeding."

The 157 bus route that goes along Foster will continue to be rerouted via Robinson Street and Smith Avenue in both directions.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks