NIGHTTIME construction noise will continue on Marine Drive this November and possibly into December as Park Royal construction crews hustle to get the road ready for holiday shoppers.
West Vancouver council voted unanimously Monday, albeit with a few reservations, to exempt construction crews from noise bylaws for 15 nights of construction and demolition work in November and December.
Work began on replacing the overpass that connects the two halves of Park Royal across Marine Drive with an at-grade intersection last July. The project was slated to be finished by the end of October, but design changes and difficulty finding equipment for the new traffic signal on Marine Drive have caused delays.
The intersection is now set to be operational Nov. 12.
The noise bylaw exemption will affect many nearby residents, according to Coun. Nora Gambioli.
"There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people living just a few feet away," said Gambioli, who initially opposed the exemption. "My concern is about residents who live next to this."
Construction crews are scheduled to work from Nov. 13 to Nov. 30, starting at 11 p.m. and finishing at 6 a.m. from Sunday night to Thursday night, according to Park Royal communication co-ordinator Amanda Eaton. The pedestrian bridge is set to be removed Nov. 20.
Despite initial resistance, the outnumbered Gambioli ultimately voted in favour of the motion.
"The overpass has to come down. You can't knock it down in one or two nights," said Coun. Craig Cameron. "It would be asinine for (Park Royal) to have a drawn-out process."
"It's a question of public safety to do it at night," concurred Mayor Michael Smith.
Two councillors pointed out that switching to daytime construction would result in traffic bedlam, forcing thousands of cars onto Keith Road. Construction has already necessitated road closures, including shutting down the four-way stop in front of Shoppers Drug Mart for a few days.
Council approved the project last July despite concerns about rush hour traffic clogging Marine Drive.
Paving work on Marine Drive, while dependent on weather, is set to start Nov. 29.
The work is taking place in conjunction with a planned redevelopment of Park Royal South, including 20 new stores.
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