March 16, 2015 - 7:30 PM
KELOWNA - A big, loud mess: There’s no other way to describe the choked traffic and construction noise locals will experience downtown around Ellis Street and Doyle Avenue starting Tuesday morning and lasting all this week and into the next.
City council has waived its own noise bylaw at the request of developer Graham Construction to allow the construction of a foundational raft under the future Kelowna Community Health Centre.
Designed to counter downtown’s high water table, constructing the raft involves 1,400 cubic metres of concrete delivered by a rotating fleet of cement trucks that must visit the site 150 times.
Council also agreed to let the pour start an hour before the normal 7 a.m. construction start-up time and will hopefully — barring equipment failures or traffic tie-ups — be complete by 10 p.m. tomorrow. A similar pour is scheduled for March 25, a week later but council has also agreed to let the company “de-water” the site by running an on-site pump during the interim. Council was told the pump will be housed in a noise-reducing container and that area residents have been advised of the pour.
Traffic control will be on hand during the continuous pour but adding to the traffic woes in the area is the continuing closure of Ellis Street from Doyle Avenue to just past the Library parkade. Crews there are installing sewer upgrades in anticipation of the parkade expansion and will be on-site until April 10.
Construction of the Innovation Centre beside the Okanagan Regional Library has also narrowed Doyle Avenue and taken away parking spots.
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