The City of Courtenay has added in some night work on the Fifth Street Bridge in an effort to speed up the rehabilitation project.
The single-lane closure has resulted in daytime traffic congestion in downtown Courtenay.
“We are monitoring the traffic situation very closely,” said Kevin Lagan, the City’s director of operational services. “We’re in constant communication with the contractor to tweak our traffic management plan and help decrease congestion whenever possible.”
While daytime work between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. is continuing, Mainroad South Island Contracting will also be working on the bridge at night in an effort to reduce the duration of traffic congestion. Crews will be working between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Monday, Aug. 27 to Friday, Aug. 31.
Any work that can be reasonably completed without exceeding ambient noise levels will be conducted at night. The contractor will be utilizing additional noise and light mitigation techniques to ensure minimal impact to the nearby residents. Doing some work at night will allow the contractor to reduce the amount of time required for daytime lane closures.
During night time work the bridge will be open to traffic in both directions. Traffic control personnel will be on-site to establish single lane alternating traffic.
The bridge work involves replacing road surface concrete on the bridge itself, as well as the bridge joints which link the bridge to land on either side. While the City recognizes the impact these repairs have had during the busy summer driving season, the repairs are being done now for a reason.
“This work requires dry, non-humid weather to ensure good coating adhesion to the steel and concrete epoxy sealing repairs,” noted Lagan. “Working in the wetter months increases the potential for costly delays. We also need to work within the window set out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to reduce the risk to aquatic life.”
The City has adjusted traffic light patterns along the detour route to help accommodate the extra traffic. Crews working on the bridge have been intermittently reopening the bridge to two-lane traffic during the day whenever possible to help alleviate traffic congestion.
While the repairs have been challenging, Lagan says they are necessary to extend the life of the Fifth Street Bridge. “It’s extremely important that we maintain our infrastructure,” he said. “These bridge repairs have made it clear how much we depend on the Fifth Street Bridge. We need to take good care of it so it remains structurally sound and safe for commuters.”
For more information and updates visit www.courtenay.ca or contact the Project Engineer, Ian Whitehead at 250-338-5495, the contractor, David Tureene at 250-880-1981 or MainRoad Contractings 24-hour communication line, 1-866-904-0209.
— City of Courtenay