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Plans to replace the Big O’s roof just got more complicated, and likely more expensive | CBC News


Nearly six years after plans to replace the roof of the iconic Olympic Stadium were announced, those plans are changing drastically and, as a result, the cost of the work is expected to balloon.

In 2017, the Quebec government under former premier Philippe Couillard approved a $250-million budget for a new roof. It was supposed to be installed by the end of 2022 but that timeline has since been pushed back several times and there’s been no real end in sight to the Big O roof saga. 

On Wednesday, things got even more complicated.

The provincial agency that manages the Olympic Park announced that it cancelled the call for tenders for the initial roof replacement job. Instead, it will pursue a deal with the Groupe Pomerleau-Canam (GPC), a consortium that includes Quebec companies. 

That consortium would then be in charge of replacing the roof — and the technical ring, which is the immense concrete, oval-shaped structure that holds the roof in place. It has a perimeter of about 470 metres and a diameter that varies between 104 and 175 metres, depending on where you measure it.

In a statement, the Société de développement et de mise en valeur du Parc olympique said expert analysis showed that replacing the technical ring was necessary in order to conform to the latest federal building code. 

It also described this latest change to the project as “radically different” from what was initially approved by the province.

The agency now expects to submit a new proposal, with a new price tag, to the Quebec government this fall.


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