News / Calgary

Truss taking another toll: Councillors latest to move as Calgary Municipal Building gets fixed

More employees in the City of Calgary building are packed for a move as engineers zero in on fix

Calgary's Municipal Building is getting some attention from engineers after a 30-year-old truss didn't pass inspection.

Metro File Photo

Calgary's Municipal Building is getting some attention from engineers after a 30-year-old truss didn't pass inspection.

We’ve got truss issues, but fixing the Municipal Building is a shore thing, as two engineering firms have honed in on the temporary shoring measure that will help move displaced employees back to their respective offices.

But that’s not the permanent solution, and according to the city’s facilities management director Thomas Hansen, engineers are still narrowing down the best approach for a fix.

“It’s a complex issue,” Hansen said. “The shoring will provide the required support for the truss assembly…we haven’t finalized the complete repair and replacement of the truss.”

Because engineers haven’t zeroed in on the method they need to fix the faulty truss, there’s no current cost estimate for this project.  

In September, the city temporarily shuttered the northeast corner of Calgary’s Municipal Building after staff found that a 30-year-old truss wasn’t up to snuff. According to Hansen, a 22-foot deep, 70,000 pound steel truss wasn’t installed correctly and didn’t meet “current safety codes.”

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Although it sat in place since 1983, and showed no signs of failing, the city opted for the safest possible measure and moved more than 300 workers away from the problem area.

While old City Hall is under construction simultaneously, the Administration was where a number of councillors moved and expected to stay for four years. But now, four of the councillor’s offices are among 180 more employees displaced out of an “abundance of caution” because of the faulty truss.

“We love where we just moved to, it was a really functional modern office space,” said Coun. Richard Pootmans. “The only part that isn’t ideal is our staff work very closely with other staff in the councillor offices…I’m afraid we’re going to lose a bit of that.”

The offices will be moved to the 7th floor of Calgary’s Municipal Building.

Hansen said the shoring should be complete by spring 2017, and that’s when city staff can go back to their usual desks and offices.

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