Corroded steel in the roof structure over the open-air seating tray and other parts of the stadium-arena reconstruction at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa has added an unexpected $17 million (C) to the cost. The debate over who foots the bill is changing the terms of the city's deal with its redevelopment partner, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG).
According to the original terms of the partnership, OSEG would pay for any extra expenses above the $135.8 million committed to by the city and the $10 million project contingency. Additional investment in the project by OSEG would also increase the group’s share of proceeds from retail, residential, and commercial development in the park.
But in a December 16 memorandum, Ottawa’s infrastructure services general manager, Wayne Newell, wrote that “OSEG has notified the City that it is considering invoking the dispute resolution procedures of the Project Agreement to determine if some or all of these costs should be […] paid for by the City.”
The Civic Centre's open-air seating tray bears at its top end on box girders springing from ground level. Those girders also frame a roof that overhangs and protects the seating tray.
The corroded steel repairs were not included in plans for the stadium until the damage was discovered, in 2013, after construction had begun. Structural adequacy investigations that took place every five years leading up to the project found no significant steel corrosion.
In the 2007 inspection, Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd. concluded “we are of the opinion that the Arena Complex is structurally adequate, and capable of supporting all loads to which it is likely to be subjected.”
Similar investigations conducted after 2007 came to similar conclusions, according to Newell's memo.
Last spring, during new investigations made in preparation for reconstruction, the contractor removed sections of insulation and other material covering the steel.
OSEG conducted its own inspection in 2013 after the contractor informed the group that steel exposed in the course of construction was “significantly corroded.” The structural engineer concluded from the discovered that the corrosion would “impact the structure’s capability of supporting its designed load capacity,” wrote Newell.
According to the memo, extra work completed due to steel corrosion included isolated repairs on the arena roof’s main beam, new members and repairs in passageways. Contractors also repaired critical connections that required installation of new steel and welding.
The most work was needed in replacing the roof's steel decking, which could only be accessed by scaffolding installed from the arena floor.
Newell’s memorandum states that all aspects of the project are on schedule, without major delays resulting from the steel repairs.
OSEG, the City of Ottawa, and Newell could not be reach for comment thus far.