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“Monolithic” concrete pour being planned for New West waterfront development

More than 400 trucks will deliver concrete to the site during the daylong pour
Pier West rendering
An architect’s rendering of the Pier West development that's under construction on New Westminster's waterfront.

A convoy of concrete trucks will be descending on the waterfront as part of a pour for New Westminster’s tallest building.

The date of the concrete pour, however, has yet to be finalized.

A report in the July 12 city council agenda outlined plans for a concrete pour proposed for Friday, Aug. 13, but that report was pulled from the meeting’s agenda. It included a staff recommendation for an exemption to the city’s construction noise bylaw on the day of the pour for the foundation of the west tower, as the work would take longer to do than what’s permitted in normal construction hours.

“Bosa Development have confirmed that the monolithic pour of 4,500 cubic metres for the west tower core needs to occur all at one time and is estimated to take 12 to 14 hours,” said the report. “Because the work is a monolithic pour, it means that once the pour is started it must continue to completion.”

Mike Anderson, the city’s acting manager of transportation, said the concrete pour is still in the plans – just on a different date.

“They have delayed the concrete pour,” he told the Record. “It’s expected to happen, I believe, in September. It will come back to council.”

Bosa Development is committed to implementing measures to minimize construction noise as much as possible during the concrete pour, said the report.

“Pump trucks setting up and concrete trucks arriving on site will create construction noise,” stated the report. “The work will include coordination between the five pump trucks and approximately 429 concrete pour trucks bringing concrete supplies to the site.”

Traffic plan

With hundreds of trucks set to deliver concrete to the waterfront site as part of the day’s work, a variety of traffic impacts are anticipated. The staff report outlined a variety of measures being planned for the day of the pour, including:

* Concrete trucks will access the Bosa site from Begbie Street via westbound Front Street. They’ll leave via Begbie Street and eastbound Front Street.

* Traffic control persons will guide vehicle movements to and from the site during the concrete pour. They’ll serve several roles: directing the movements of the anticipated 33 concrete trucks arriving each hour and prioritizing them to prevent congestion on Front Street; monitoring and managing any queuing on Front and Begbie streets; prioritizing access for bus and emergency vehicles, if needed; and directing the concrete trucks to the Third Avenue overpass detour if rail operations interfere with their concrete deliveries.

* Because this is a monolithic pour, concrete trucks will access the site via Stewardson Way, the Third Avenue overpass and Quayside Drive if a train is passing through the Begbie Street crossing. Traffic control persons will be stationed at locations where they can manage motor vehicle and cyclist traffic when trucks may be using that route.

* To prevent concrete truck traffic from queuing along Quayside Drive, the trucks will be staged on an empty lot west of Rialto Court and “released in an evenly-timed, continuous manner to the site.”

* Cyclists will still be able to use Quayside Drive during the pour. (Concrete trucks will be rerouted to that route if the Begbie crossing is blocked by trains.)

* All sidewalks and crosswalks between the downtown and the waterfront will remain open during the construction activity.

“While the variance to extend the available hours for the concrete pour may increase the possibility of noise in the early morning and late evening, the need for continuous concrete pour is critical,” said the July 12 report. “Given the scope and duration of work, the ability to maintain walking and biking connections and the resultant impact to transportation accessibility being low, along with vehicle volumes during the exemption period being comparable or lower compared to normal construction hours, city staff consider the requested exemption to be reasonable under these circumstances.”

The original time requested for the exemption to the construction noise bylaw would have allowed the work to be done between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13, or one day between Aug. 14 and 23 if weather conditions prevented it from being done on the proposed date. The city’s bylaw allows construction activities that create noise and impact the surrounding community to be done between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

With council on summer break until Aug. 30, no follow-up report has been considered regarding the Pier West concrete pour.

“The report was pulled as Bosa requested a date change, late in the day,” said Jackie Teed, the city’s senior manager of development services, in an email to the Record. “No other aspects of the request or the work changed.”

Once the date for the construction pour is approved, residents and businesses near the site will be notified. Details will also be posted at www.660QuaysideDr.com.

According to a staff report, Pier West by Bosa Development will be one of the tallest waterfront residential properties in the Lower Mainland. Located at 660 Quayside Dr., Pier West will include 43- and 53-storey highrises, a three-storey commercial building that includes childcare and retail spaces, about two acres of park and open space, an extension to Westminster Pier Park, and a public plaza and esplanade space.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca