B.C. city to mute construction noise on stat holidays with $95 million infrastructure projects planned

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CaDCR staff writer

The City of Kelowna council has voted on staff recommendation to change to the rules governing construction noise to prohibit it on statutory holidays unless variances are granted.

However, during its May 13 meeting, Kelowna council voted in favour of directing staff to prepare a bylaw report that would see the construction noise window continue to be from 7 am until 9 pm, Monday to Friday.

The window would change to 9 am to 8 pm on weekends and construction would be prohibited on the 11statutory holidays observed in BC.

“Kelowna’s approach of permitting constriction noise within a uniform window for all days of the week, 356 days per year, is a partial outlier among this sample. Only one other municipality has adopted this approach,” says the report to council.

While the city’s rules about construction noise on non-holiday weekdays is broadly in line with Chilliwack, Kamloops, North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria, only Kamloops and Kelowna currently allow construction on Sundays without a variance. Of the six other municipalities, only Chilliwack, Kamloops and Surrey also allow construction noise on statutory holidays.

The recommendation also adds two new reasons for variances, heat conditions and to clarify the scope of required mitigations.

For Monday to Friday, the current 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. hours would remain open (unless a variance is granted to extend those hours) and the Saturday and Sunday hours would change to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Changes would be implemented as the city plans $95 million in infrastructure projects this year, $34 million is dedicated to projects that repair, rehabilitate, and improve the underground utility network.

“When underground infrastructure is working well, it often goes unnoticed, but capital projects that support safe handling of wastewater, stormwater, and potable water build peace of mind for our residents,” said Rod MacLean, utility planning manager. “These projects protect community health, our environment, Okanagan Lake and surrounding infrastructure.”

The Burtch Sanitary Trunk upgrade project will be completed this spring, rehabilitating 2.7 kilometres of sanitary sewer pipe using an innovative “trenchless” repair technology called Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP). This process will involve inserting a resin-soaked liner into the degraded host pipe, exposing it to steam, allowing the liner to harden and transforming it into the new internal pipe.

Typically, a rehabilitation project of this size would require excavation and replacement of the existing pipe, take the entire construction season, and cause major disruptions for residents, commuters, and visitors to the area. However, because this repair is being completed using “trenchless” technology, project costs are significantly decreased, and frequency and duration of disruptions will be minimized.

This summer, crews will start work on an extension to the Glenmore sanitary trunk main, adding 1.2 kilometres of transmission main from Cross Rd. to Snowsell St. Right now, effluent in the Glenmore Sanitary main funnels into smaller connecting mains enroute to the wastewater plant. This extension will eliminate that step, significantly decreasing the risk of overburdening the smaller local mains.

The project will be completed in two phases, connecting from Cross Rd. to Union Rd.in 2024, and phase 2 from Union Rd. to Snowsell St. taking place in 2025.

Utility projects that will upgrade the underground infrastructure network include:

  • Coronation Ave. utility upgrade project between Richter St. and Ethel St. will replace the aging sewer network while also upgrading the existing water system to increase flows to services and provide improved hydrant coverage.
  • East Pandosy St. sanitary upgrade project will replace 750 metres of existing asbestos cement mains which are in poor condition.
  • Summit Reservoir expansion project will bolster water resources for firefighting and address the evolving needs of the growing Dilworth neighbourhood.
  • Raymer Ave. watermain renewal project (phase 1) will upgrade the existing water infrastructure along Raymer Ave. between Mappin Ct. and Gordon Dr. The existing cast iron watermain, which is susceptible to costly breaks, will be replaced with a new PVC main.
  • Central Rutland sewer project, which began in 2023, will provide sanitary sewer infrastructure to more than 500 properties. Project activities in 2024 will include completing the installation of infrastructure on the west side of Rutland Rd. and beginning work on the east side of Rutland Rd. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC.

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