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Storm drain work starting near Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay

Next week, commencing Sept. 10, evening work will continue on the Fifth Street Bridge.

However, no daytime lane closures are scheduled until Monday, Sept. 17. Contractors are also scheduled to commence working Sept. 10 on a storm drain project on the Old Island Highway, near the Lewis Centre.

Derek Richmond, the City’s manager of engineering, said the storm drain work will be timed to reduce impact on daytime traffic.

“As much night work as possible will be undertaken to minimize conflict with the Fifth Street Bridge,” said Richmond. “The contractor will be implementing a traffic management plan which will work in conjunction with the Fifth Street Bridge traffic management plan.”

While working at night is the preferred time for the storm drain work, the contractor needs to deal with some schedule limitations.

“The storm drain work is tide-dependent, so we’ll need to work around that,” noted Richmond. “The work is happening now because we will need to repair the pavement before the asphalt plant closes for the season.”

The storm drain work will alleviate some of the drainage problems in the area around Value Village.

During evening work, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., traffic will be single-lane alternating in both directions.

Contractors have encountered some delays in the Fifth Street Bridge project, which may result in work extending past the original Sept. 20 completion date.

“We’re waiting for delivery of the elastomeric joints — these are the flexible couplers that connect the bridge to the bank on either side,” said Richmond. “These parts are being specially fabricated in eastern U.S. for the Fifth Street Bridge, and we’re still waiting to hear what the estimated delivery date will be.”

The joint replacement will need to be done during the daytime.

“Changing these joints is the noisiest part of this whole project,” stated Richmond. “We’ll need to use jackhammers to remove the concrete around the existing joints.”

Crews are also dealing with issues on the bridge deck. Sections of concrete are separating from the deck, resulting in voids that need to be drilled out and filled with epoxy.

Richmond noted the City and contractor’s appreciation for the challenges these repairs have created for the general public.

“It’s a complex and difficult project, and we’d like to thank the public again for their patience,” said Richmond. “We’re doing everything we can to keep the project moving forward as quickly as possible.”

For more information and updates visit www.courtenay.ca or contact project engineer Ian Whitehead at 250-338-5495 or MainRoad Contracting's 24-hour communication line, 1-877-391-7310.

— City of Courtenay

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