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Piece of concrete falls from expressway 0

Kevin Connor, QMI Agency
Toronto Police close down lanes of the west bound Lakeshore east of Jarvis St. after a large chunk of concrete fell from the Gardiner Expressway above just as the afternoon rush home began. There were no injuries. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency)

Toronto Police close down lanes of the west bound Lakeshore east of Jarvis St. after a large chunk of concrete fell from the Gardiner Expressway above just as the afternoon rush home began. There were no injuries. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - 

A 46-centimetre slab of concrete fell from the Gardiner Expressway onto Lakeshore Blvd. on Monday afternoon, just before rush hour.

"That is pretty big. It is a given this is a danger because a lot of cars use the road. It is a safety issue," said Canadian Automobile Association spokesman Faye Lyons.

The concrete chunk -- about five centimetres thick -- fell just east of Jarvis St., forcing the closure of two lanes on Lakeshore Blvd. E.

There were no injuries, and police monitored the scene until a city road crew arrived to investigate the problem.

This is not the first time crumbling chunks of concrete have fallen from the elevated portion of the highway.

Pieces of concrete fell on occasions in May and September of 2007. The city says while crumbling concrete poses a risk, it doesn't mean there is a problem with the structural integrity of the Gardiner.

"The Gardiner has a $98-million backlog (on repairs). Council doesn't know what they are going to do with the Gardiner so it hasn't been rehabilitated and money hasn't been spent on sections of it," Lyons said.

Monday's incident marks the fourth time concrete has crumbled, NDP MP Olivia Chow said.

"They have been the size of basketballs so we are lucky no one has been hurt. At the end of the day, the federal government must cough up support for infrastructure," Chow said.


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