Police find only a quarter of fallen concrete comes from the Gardiner
It's become an all-too-common story: A chuck of concrete falls from the Gardiner Expressway, damaging a vehicle and perhaps injuring the people inside.
However new numbers from Toronto Police suggest that only a fraction of the fallen concrete actually comes from the Gardiner's crumbling facade.
Constable Clint Stibbe with Toronto Police Traffic Services says there have been 86 reports of concrete falling from the highway since 2012. Of those, he says inspectors found 22 came from the Gardiner, seven were from overloaded trucks, and the rest have yet to be determined.
"Some of the things that have been tipping off the inspectors, mainly, is the composition of the concrete that they're finding," Stibbe explains.
He says the position of the concrete is also telling. In some cases, it's been found in places where the Gardiner does not run over the roadway.
When it comes to over-loaded trucks, "the responsibility, in the end, comes to the driver," Stibbe says. "They know when those vehicles are over-loaded."
However, he says there's also a responsibility on the loaders to load the vehicles properly yet they're rarely charged for not doing so.
"The drivers, if they do argue with the loaders, they're told not to come back," Stibbe says, adding that it's pushing some drivers to break the rules.
Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed the issue on NEWSTALK 1010's Moore in the Morning.
"We're going to have to make sure we are enforcing, as best one can, the laws that relate to tying down your load when you're carrying concrete," Tory says.
Still, the fact remains that there were 22 incidents where concrete did fall from the Gardiner.
"People think, for example, when we close down the York/Bay/Yonge ramp that somehow we're doing it just to aggravate people," Tory says. "These are old infrastructure pieces...they are coming apart and so we're having to replace them in various different stages."