As reported on CTV News, the collapse of an east-end pedestrian bridge used daily by elementary school students was a “potentially catastrophic event for the city” and municipal officials could have done more to prevent it, according to an internal audit.
The Crescent Town pedestrian bridge, which linked an apartment complex to the Crescent Town Elementary School, collapsed on Nov. 17, 2018 — a Saturday, which residents deemed fortunate given it was not in use by students heading to or from school at the time.
A city review of the incident has now concluded that a lack of enforcement of repair order deadlines, jurisdictional confusion, and an absence of requirements for condition evaluations were among the factors that contributed to a “lack of timely action” by the city and property owners.
“We’re first and foremost very fortunate that nothing happened in terms of injuries, that was a real possibility,” local councillor Brad Bradford told CTV News Toronto.
The bridge is publicly-accessible but privately co-owned by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)and Bleeman Holdings. The collapse occurred on the side of the bridge owned by Bleeman.
The audit found that a TDSB engineer’s report identified cracking and structural disrepair issues on the Bleeman side of the bridge in May 2017, advising that it was not repairable and had to be demolished and replaced. However, Toronto Building staff did not feel they had the grounds or authority to issue to issue an “unsafe” order.
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