Closures on Hamilton’s Claremont Access could last until September: report
Published March 29, 2023 at 1:14 pm
The City of Hamilton provided an update on the temporary closure of the Claremont Access downbound lanes due to safety concerns on Wednesday, stating the closure will last until “August or September.”
The closure stems from “erosion and slope stability concerns” along the escarpment, uncovered about four weeks ago by third-party consultants, Stantec Consulting Limited, who noticed “a change in the steel wall, indicative of a potential failure of certain sections of the steel-facing wall along the escarpment,” according to the City.
There were plans to remove 600 metres of the steel wall facing this summer, including the location of the potential failure. The City says it “explored short-term approaches in the interim” that would allow for the re-opening of both downbound lanes sooner. However, after a site visit on Mar. 14, Stantec told the City that the short-term approach still presented safety hazards.
“…there is no guarantee that a localized pressure relief, or the removal of two wall panels impacted, will provide safe conditions for road users,” stated Stantec.
So, the short-term solution has been scrapped. Instead of addressing only a portion of the wall, the City says it will focus on expediting the “longer-term planned work,” which will occur over the summer.
The City has already issued a quote request as it works to procure contract services.
It is expected that work can be expedited, and the contractor can begin work to remove all the steel-facing walls as early as May.
“As part of the established escarpment stabilization program, removing these steel walls will allow the City and engineering consultants to better complete routine inspection practices to identify areas of potential concern and mitigate risks before failures occur,” the City issued.
“This work is expected to take approximately three months to complete, wrapping up this August or September. The downbound Claremont Access lanes are expected to open once work has been completed.”
“Further details regarding construction impacts and timing will be available in April 2023,” the City added.
Once the steel-facing walls are removed, the consultant will assess the condition of the rock escarpment face and determine remedial measures to reduce the erosion.
The city’s Transportation, Operations and Maintenance division has reviewed the feasibility of changing the two upbound Claremont Access lanes to have one up and one down; however, staff says the width of the lanes does not allow for this to safely be implemented.
The City says it continues to look for opportunities to improve traffic flow while the downbound lanes are closed, including rescheduling non-urgent work on alternate escarpment access to reduce the amount of coinciding closures. It has also looked into scheduling work to take place outside of rush hour, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“The City understands this closure is challenging and results in longer commutes into the downtown core; however, public safety is our top priority and the temporary closure of the downbound lanes is a precautionary measure until the City can begin the steel wall removals in May,” they added.
The Claremont Access detour route remains in place. Vehicles using Upper James are being asked to follow Fennell Ave. East to Upper Wellington and use the Jolly Cut-Arkledun Ave. escarpment access.
Detour signage has been posted and can be found at hamilton.ca/roadclosures.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising