Lansdowne Park veil builder not paid in full, suit says

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

lansdown
Hamilton-area company Spring Valley Classic Custom Corp. says it's still owed $3.4 million for the work they did on the Lansdowne Park veil. CITY OF OTTAWA IMAGE

Another company says it hasn't been paid for work at Lansdowne Park, claiming it's owed $3.4 million for the design and construction of the site's signature element.

The wooden veil wraps around the south-side stands at TD Place stadium and is one of the redevelopment's standout features.

Spring Valley Classic Custom Corp. says it had an agreement to design, engineer and construct the stadium veil.

The Hamilton-area company says it supplied labour and material "in a good and workmanlike manner in excess" of $8 million.

"This included additional work required to ensure a safe design and reworking of the original structure design and materials and additional costs," the suit says.

Still outstanding is the $3.4 million, even though invoices have been issued for the work, the company's suit claims.

In addition to the city, the suit names as defendants the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, general contractor Pomerleau and lender TD Bank.

According to Spring Valley, it has made requests for payment and sent invoices but has not received the owed money.

Steel company suing City for TD Place work

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TD Place
TD Place, home of the Ottawa RedBlacks. Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun

By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

A Quebec steel company that helped renovate TD Place says it's owed more than $5.3 million for the work.

Lainco has filed two lawsuits in Ottawa Superior Court naming the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and Pomerleau as defendants.

Pomerleau is the general contractor on the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.

Lainco says it installed structural steel.

According to the suits, Lainco has moved to put a construction lien on part of Lansdowne and has identified the city and OSEG as "registered owners."

The two suits relate to work done on both the north and south sides of the stadium.

The claims haven't been proven in court.

It's unclear why the three defendants allegedly haven't paid Lainco for the steelwork.

There are no defence statements filed on the cases, which only recently made their ways into court.

The suits say Pomerleau contacted Lainco about providing steelwork on Dec. 12, 2012. Lainco says it provided labour and supplies on the north side between April 1, 2013 and Aug. 28, 2014. Work on the south side happened between Jan. 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014.

According to lien applications filed with the suits, the contract for the north side was worth more than $5.6 million, while contracted work for the south side was $6.3 million.

The city budgeted about $130 million for the complete renovation and rebuild of the stadium.

Twitter: @JonathanWilling

Kids' play area finally reopens

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Ottawa Citizen

The children's play area at Lansdowne Park, which includes a play structure and skateboard ramps, has reopened to the public after a two-week delay.

The city said in a news release Friday that a rubberized surface has been installed to provide a safer and more accessible play space for children, parents and caregivers. The installation had been delayed due to inclement weather.

The public can access Lansdowne Park from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily via Queen Elizabeth Driveway. Except during major events, the Bank Street entrance is restricted to construction crews and related construction traffic.

Pedestrians and cyclists travelling through Lansdowne Park are asked to use caution as construction continues until late fall.

More delays to Lansdowne children's play area

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Redblacks mascot Big Joe tried out the play structure, even posing for some pictures up there, at the community picnic and fair, hosted by the City at Lansdowne Park on Aug. 16, 2014. David Kawai / Ottawa Citize

Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen

The children's play area at Lansdowne's urban park is facing further construction delays that will keep the site closed following its official opening less than two weeks ago.

The park officially opened on Aug. 15. Over that weekend, children played on the play structure and skateboard ramps. But days later, the playground and skateboard ramps were closed, which a city official said was due to wet weather having prevented some final touches the week before.

Early last week, the city said the work would take roughly a week. But both the children's play area and the skateboard ramps remained closed as of Wednesday morning.

Marco Manconi, the manager of design and construction at Lansdowne, said further bad weather last week pushed construction back again. "(It) requires at least a week for the installation and curing of the rubberized surface to provide a safer and more accessible play surface," he said in an email. "Crews are working to complete the project as soon as possible."

The rest of the park, including the great lawn and a basketball court, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. The city is warning residents that construction will continue into the fall because of the staged construction at Lansdowne, so heavy vehicles and equipment are still on site. A water garden, civic gardens and Horticulture Building are among the parts of Lansdowne still being worked on.

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Was Lansdowne park rushed for pragmatism or politics?

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Maddie Fulford, 10, hands out welcoming flyers as the official opening of Lansdowne Park took place Friday and is the culmination of more than a year of intensive construction to complete the new 18-acre urban park.

Maddie Fulford, 10, hands out welcoming flyers as the official opening of Lansdowne Park took place Friday and is the culmination of more than a year of intensive construction to complete the new 18-acre urban park. Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen

 

What sort of organization gets the public all excited about a huge project like Lansdowne’s urban park then quietly closes parts of it down with no explanation?

That would be your city government at work. Or not, as the case may be.

After this weekend’s splashy public opening of the $42-million urban park — the price includes the relocation and renovation of the Horticulture Building — visitors to the play area and skatepark found these already-popular elements mysteriously cordoned off. No signage, no notice, no public service announcement until after the Citizen’s David Reevely made inquiries to the city.

It turns out that crews working furiously on Lansdowne’s urban park ran out of time to pour the rubberized surface for the play area before the grand opening. Instead of keeping the playground closed, city officials decided to cover the ground with wood chips temporarily for the weekend. It was the right decision — the children’s play area and skatepark were the huge hits.

Anyone who’s ever lived through a home improvement project can have some sympathy for others suffering renovation delays. So it’s not the fact that the park wasn’t completely finished that’s inexcusable, it’s the way the city handled the news. Did they think that no one would notice the play area and skatepark were off limits? Not even local Coun. David Chernushenko knew about the closures until reading about it on Twitter.

The communications were “not handled in as proficient a manner as we would have hoped,” admitted the city’s parks and recreation manager, Dan Chenier.

Two days after Lansdowne's grand opening, its playground and skate park have been closed for more work.

Two days after Lansdowne’s grand opening, its playground and skate park have been closed for more work.

Indeed. Chenier went on to explain that there was some confusion as to how quickly the crews would move to install the permanent rubberized surface, which will need at least a few dry days to pour and cure. Chenier said he hopes the play area and skatepark — which has to be closed during the work because of its proximity to the playground — will be open again this weekend, but the timing is weather dependent.

But the incident raises another question: How was the opening date for the park determined? Was the date based on practicality? Or politics?

Likely both.

Lansdowne attractions now closed for repairs

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David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

Two days after the grand opening of the new “urban park” at Lansdowne, two of its key features have been closed — the playground because it isn’t finished and the skate park because it’s crumbling.

Monday afternoon, skateboarders had taken over the basketball courts when they found the nearby ramps and rails of the skate park fenced off, along with the nearby playground. The “great lawn” is open, but mostly what Lansdowne offers this week is empty plazas and views of the ongoing construction work. A promised water plaza isn’t ready yet and neither is a grassy berm with a lighted sculpture.

During the opening festivities on Saturday and then again on Sunday, dozens of children at a time swarmed Lansdowne’s playground, whose main feature is an undulating piece of metalwork covered in nets and climbing ropes. On Monday, the wood chips under the structure had been cleared away and ribbed plastic tubing was strewn around. No signs explained the closure.

“Last week’s weather prevented completion of the finishing touches on the play structure area, which needed dry conditions,” said the city’s general manager of infrastructure, Wayne Newell, in written answers to questions from the Citizen. “However, the City made certain the structure was available for the public over the weekend. The final elements in the play structure are now being completed.”

The work should take about a week, he wrote.

Lansdowne shuttle route changed for next Redblacks game

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Bus load on Lakeside Avenue cut by at least half for Friday game

Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen

There will be fewer shuttle buses taking Lakeside Avenue for Friday's Redblacks game, following concerns from some residents of the quiet street.

Capital Ward Coun. David Chernushenko said Monday that changes to the shuttle route for this week's game will result in at least a 50-per-cent reduction in the number of shuttle buses taking Lakeside Avenue, which is close to Dow's Lake.

"Nothing is permanent, in that this going to be tested. We'll be crunching the numbers," Chernushenko said, adding assessment of the "pilot project" will include how long new routes take and whether they cause changes to shuttle usage.

Instead of taking Lakeside Avenue, buses picking people up at the Canada Post and Vincent Massey Park parking lots will use Heron Road and Prince of Wales Drive to get to Queen Elizabeth Driveway and ultimately TD Place.

Also being assessed in the pilot project will be the diversion of out-of-service buses to and from Carleton University and the R.A. Centre.

Some deadheaded pre-game buses on those routes will be diverted on to Preston Street and Carling Avenue and timed to judge the effectiveness of the trial route.

That diversion could reduce bus volumes on Lakeside Avenue by an extra 15 per cent.

City to divert majority of Lansdowne shuttle buses off of Lakeside

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Alison Sandor, CFRA

The City will divert the majority of game day shuttle buses to TD Place off of a small residential road in Old Ottawa South.

Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko told CFRA's Madely in the Morning, they will be diverting most buses off of Lakeside Avenue.

"We found a way to reduce the number of shuttle buses that will use Lakeside by more than 65 per cent," said Chernushenko.

He said they've determined it is better for the majority of buses to use another route.

"We found that people who are taking shuttles from Canada Post and Vincent Massey Park - the shuttle parking lots there - that running the buses down Heron, then the Prince of Wales Driveway onto QED [Queen Elizabeth Driveway] to Lansdowne, that's just as fast, maybe even faster than using the route that was Bronson and Lakeside," said Chernushenko.

He said they've also decided that empty buses will also be re-routed off of residential streets. Post-game buses will also use a longer route to get back to the parking lots.

"By that time in the evening, the traffic is so light on the streets, we feel that they can still be an effective, efficient route," Chernushenko said of the main routes.

Lakeside residents have been protesting the use of their street - saying it was dangerous to run 500 shuttle buses up their small road every REDBLACKS and Fury game.

Thirty-five per cent of shuttles will still be running along Lakeside, but Chernushenko said they will still be looking at improvements that they can make.

RedBlacks shuttles reduced on Lakeside Ave.

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Fewer shuttle buses will rumble down a residential street near Dows Lake before this week's Ottawa RedBlacks game.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko said Monday that the number TD Place-bound shuttles taking Lakeside Ave. will be reduced by 65-70% [note: 50% is more likely, according to City staff] for the Friday night game.

Lakeside Ave. is a short stretch that connects Bronson Ave. with Queen Elizabeth Dr. Shuttle buses have been using the road travelling to and from parking lots at Canada Post and Vincent Massey Park. Residents of the road don't like the constant flow of hundreds of buses each game night.

Now, many of those buses will take Heron Rd. and Prince of Wales Dr. to access Queen Elizabeth Dr. en route to TD Place.

"It's just as fast, maybe even faster," Chernushenko said.

The dead-head buses going back to pick up more fans from the parking lots will use Carling Ave. and no post-game shuttles will use Lakeside Ave., he said.

A special Lansdowne Park transportation committee met Friday to review the shuttle plans. The committee has even been reviewing video of the traffic flows to help officials make changes.

"We will be constantly tweaking it," Chernushenko said.

The free bike parking at Lansdowne has been well-used for the football games and Chernushenko hopes more cyclists will use the service. Cyclists who have been locking to posts on Bank St. are encouraged to use the bike parking at Lansdowne to free up space on Bank St. sidewalks, he said.

The next challenge will be to convince the National Capital Commission to continue allowing shuttle buses on Queen Elizabeth Dr. for RedBlacks games. The shuttle access is a pilot project for the first half of the season.

Chernushenko doesn't see how the shuttle system would function properly without using Queen Elizabeth Dr. since there would be a crush of people and buses on Bank St.

Twitter: @JonathanWilling

If you don’t find the information you need on these pages, please visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne, or to contact the City directly by email at newlansdowne@ottawa.caor by calling 3-1-1 (press 1 for English, then 5 for the Lansdowne line). If necessary, you may also contact the project manager, Marco Manconi, at 613-580-2424 ext. 43229, or by email.