Herb Gray Parkway just one example
TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Under new contracting arrangements being
entered into by the Ontario Government, some construction, repair and
maintenance projects involving highways and other infrastructure are
now being done without requirements for any independent testing or
inspection of their quality or safety.
"This is a big mistake - a serious and potentially dangerous mistake,"
says Derwyn Reuber, Executive Director of the Canadian Council of
Independent Laboratories (CCIL).
The province no longer requires rigorous independent testing or
inspection under some of these new procurement agreements such as
design-build and performance-based contracts. There is no independent
oversight of the design, materials or construction methods used.
And without independent verification, there is no assurance that the
materials and construction meet standards.
"This lack of oversight will likely result in increased costs for
taxpayers as relatively new infrastructure has to be replaced or
repaired," notes Reuber. "It could also endanger the public as there
are now fewer checks against structural failures and unsafe
construction and designs."
A case in point is the Herb Gray Parkway in Windsor. An independent
expert review committee has now released its interim report,
recommending that hundreds of girders be replaced, monitored or
repaired because of concerns over safety and durability.
"If there had been independent inspection and testing on behalf of the
ultimate owner of this project, the potential problem would have been
identified much earlier. This would have saved a significant amount of
money for taxpayers and avoided long delays in completing the Parkway,"
The interim report on the Herb Gray Parkway makes the point: "It is
indispensable to have independent inspections and competent scrutiny of
the Quality Assurance program."
CCIL urges the Ontario Government to require all public infrastructure
projects to be subject to independent quality control and quality
assurance testing and inspection. To ensure independence, these
services should be retained by, and the findings reported directly to,
"Considering the scale of today's infrastructure, and the many lives
that depend on it, independent testing is a very small price to pay for
ensuring standards are met and public safety is protected," Reuber
Independent quality assurance testing typically costs in the range of
0.5% to 1.0% of the cost of the project.
CCIL represents the independent, private-sector laboratories in Canada.
Because CCIL members are independent, they have no vested interest in
the outcome of their testing. They are able to conduct investigations
and render reports objectively and without bias.
In Ontario, members operate more than 160 independent laboratory
facilities. Many of these laboratories provide testing services for
construction materials and inspection services in fabrication shops and
on construction sites, as well as material consultation services.
CCIL member services are vitally important in helping to protect the
public from structural collapses, building failures, dangerous and
unsafe construction methods, and many other threats.
SOURCE: Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories
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