Once again Rideau Transit Group and the City of Ottawa have fortunately avoided loss of life in a major accident in and around the Confederation Line light-rail project.
Late on Thursday afternoon a section of shotcrete (a sprayed material that reinforces the walls of the tunnel when it is under construction) fell near Waller and Laurier trapping three workers. One has a hand injury. All three have been rescued.
Previous to this a sinkhole appeared on Waller during tunnel drilling which collapsed part of the road. As well, a giant sinkhole occurred at Sussex and Rideau that could have claimed many lives but, luckily, did not. The cause and responsibility for the Sussex and Rideau sinkhole has not been determined.
In baseball, it’s three strikes and out and now we have three serious incidents. This project is exposing many Ottawans to unnecessary danger and also raises questions of how safe this project will be when it is completed.
It is time the province gets involved because the principals behind this project have not been able to protect the public from unnecessary danger.
Accordingly, Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose government is responible for municipalities, should appoint a provincial investigation to look into the safety of this project. That might mean stopping construction until the project can be declared safe.
Because the City of Ottawa has so much riding on the completion of this project on-time and on-budget, an investigation should come from the province which is at an arms-length from this construction.
It is time for the province to step in before a tragedy occurs on light-rail project. Three major accidents are too much.
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