New Westminster approves extended work hours on waterfront construction site

Bosa Development will be able to work later into the evening on its Pier West project, but it won’t be doing any of the noisiest type of pile driving after 8 p.m.

The city’s construction noise bylaws restricts construction activities that may create noise and negatively impact the community to be done between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. On Monday, city council granted Bosa an exemption from the construction noise bylaw, which will allow work to be done between 8:01 and 11 p.m. Monday to Friday and 6:01 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays until April 13.

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Bosa is currently building an in-water perimeter shoring wall on its Pier West development site at 660 Quayside Dr.

According to a staff report, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans limits work in or around water to protect fish, including their eggs, juveniles, spawning adults and/or the organisms on which they feed. While the DFO’s timeline for work in the Fraser River estuary ends Feb. 28, Bosa has applied for an extension and hopes to work into late March to complete the work.

“Assuming DFO grants Bosa an extension to perform work to the end of March, Bosa will need to compact their works and schedule, including adding a full second shift of work, in order to expedite construction and complete within the least risk fisheries window,” said the report. “Bosa has already reduced the scope of the shoring wall to reflect the time constraints.”

This exemption to the city’s construction noise bylaw will allow Bosa to do pile driving using the vibratory hammering system and preparation work along the riverfront of 660 Quayside Dr. – but it won’t allow the use of the noisier type of pile driving – impact pile driving –  after 8 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

“This has been a real challenge for the community, as it has been for yourselves, so I appreciate that you are trying to get this done within a particular timeframe,” said Coun. Mary Trentadue. “That is quite important and crucial, but I do want to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the impact that it does have on the community, and that the community can also rely on the information that you are providing to them and that the city is also providing.”

Dan Diebolt, Bosa Development’s vice-president of development, said the company hasn’t received any feedback that vibratory piling is a problem, and testing has shown it’s very consistent with low-level construction noise. He said Bosa is trying to be proactive by limiting the time of the diesel-impact pile driving, as that’s the most disturbing work to area residents.

According to Diebolt, in “no circumstances” will crews do diesel-impact piling after 8 p.m.

“If we need to do diesel-impact hammering, and it’s 7:59 p.m., we stop,” he said. “There’s additional activities we can do on site.”

Kim Deighton, the city’s manager of licensing and integrated services, said complaints about work on the site have decreased since Bosa stepped up its communication initiative. After at least two weeks without getting a complaint, she received a complaint on Monday from someone inquiring when the pile driving was going to stop.

“The communication initiative really has worked,” she said. “I think when people know it’s coming, they can make informed choices, and it’s not as offensive.”

In January, the city received complaints from downtown residents about noise and vibration from the diesel-impact pile driving, light intrusion and construction work being done outside permitted hours. The city has issued the company with nine bylaw offence notices for work done in violation of city bylaws – five for working outside permitted hours and four for light intrusion.

In response to the complaints, Bosa Development held an open house to provide an update on the project and launched a website (www.660quaysidedr.com) where people can get construction updates.

 

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