There seems to be little going on at the retaining wall site these days. It may have to do with negotiations ongoing with the owner at the north end of the wall. If the owner withholds permission for the wall to be completed on the end property, plans will need to be adjusted.
Old retaining wall blocks are stacked along the opposite shore.
The old retaining wall is being removed in preparation for a newer taller model.
Incidentally, the storm sewer pipe that is visible in the second image is one of hundreds that flow into the Humber. The structure above it may serve to prevent slope erosion.
Work has resumed on the retaining wall and the mystery of the rope stretched across the river has been solved.
It’s a lifeline.
It’s simply something to hang onto if a worker slips into the water accidentally.
Another question answered is what they are going to do with the old retaining wall. Answer: remove it. This week the southerly end of the old wall is being removed and workers are digging to the bedrock to make a secure foundation for the new blocks.
Digging down to the bedrock for a solid foundation.
Material being removed from the foundation of the new retaining wall.
According to a worker on the site, the work was delayed while trout were spawning but TRCA has given the project the go-ahead and construction has re-started. Apparently when the original wall was constructed, the same company simply accessed the far bank directly and never had to take all the precautions expected of projects on the river nowadays.
Another interesting item; the new wall may not extend to the northernmost point planned as the landowner above that section of wall is worried that the removal of the old blocks and subsequent digging may trigger further landslides. Since the resident in question has riparian rights which go down to the water, they have the right to withdraw consent to construct that last section of wall.
The worker allowed that the project may take until October to complete.
The retaining wall base has been wrapped in plastic.
Work has slowed considerably at the site because migrating steelheads (better known as rainbow trout) are spawning in the Humber and rather than disturb their progress up the river, TRCA has ordered a hiatus in work until they complete their spawning. This will depend on the water temperature and will delay the wall’s construction for a while.
More brush was removed from the site recently and the staging area has been expanded, possibly for additional storage space. Further down the river, a mysterious rope has been stretched across the river. The purpose of the rope remains to be determined.
The staging area has been expanded south to include this land.
Further down the river, a rope has been stretched across the Humber.
The rope across the Humber is beginning to catch driftwood.
At first glance nothing much seems to have changed from last week.
Last week, the project took a major step forward with construction of the wall foundation to the south of the bridge. An equal length of foundation will be constructed upstream and then the wall will be added on top of that.
The retaining wall foundation stretching along its southern length.
At least the question of what to do with the existing blocks is answered. They will simply be kept in place behind the new wall. With the narrowing of the existing riverbed, I wonder what the erosion implications will be on the western bank.
It’s truly astonishing seeing the scope of this work and the seemingly glacial pace at which it is trundling along. As of last weekend, not much has changed except that the new bridge has had its eastern abutment extended to the far bank.
The bridge with its extended abutment.
The result of the new abutment is to constrict the river at this point and warnings have been placed south of the bridge about the dangerous flow.
Materials are still being amassed on the staging area and while it looks as if the blocks are all set to go, the bridge decking has arrived along with large amounts of limestone rubble and bagged gravel. Actual construction shouldn’t be long in coming.
Limestone rubble at the south end of the site.
Limestone rubble stored by the blocks at the north end of the site.
Blocks with limestone rubble behind the forklift.
Bags of gravel.
More bags of gravel stored by the staging area entrance.
Steel plates that will form the decking of the bridge.
Another view of the site with the bridge decking in the foreground.
Work continues unabated at the site and the size and scope of the job is becoming apparent. More and more blocks are piling up in the staging area and the components for a temporary bridge that will straddle the river have arrived. The bridge will be placed across the river and support the crane that will build the retaining wall. Each block is labelled with its weight which is vital knowledge for the crane operator. The bridge will be re-positioned along the banks as required.
The project was originally scheduled for completion for the end of March but clearly there is still a massive task ahead.
Interestingly, the second photo was taken on February 29th and in the top right of the image can be seen the very small amount of ice pushed ashore during the thaw. This is the smallest amount of ice I have seen in years and quickly melted.
Blocks are piled up awaiting placement.
Each block is labelled with its weight. Notice the small amount of ice freshly deposited as a result of the thaw.
Girders that will be used to make a bridge to straddle the river.
The bridge girders and limestone blocks in the background.
What looks like the beginnings of an abutment on which the bridge will rest.