Nfld. & Labrador

Night time not the right time for roadwork: St. John's councillor

St. John's may have had another summer of traffic tieups and rush-hour snarls thanks to roadwork, but a solution used in other jurisdictions — night work — isn't likely to be tried any time soon.

Doing roadwork at night would cost too much and cause noise complaints, says councillor

The chair of St. John's public works committee says night work for road construction would be too costly. (CBC)

St. John's may have had another summer of traffic tieups and rush-hour snarls thanks to roadwork, but a solution used in other jurisdictions — night work — isn't likely to be tried any time soon.

Coun. Danny Breen, chair of the public works committee, said the city has tried to avoid work during peak traffic hours.

"But there's certain projects that are just in a place where you just have to keep going," he said.

"We also try to schedule it around [rush hours]. If you look at the example of the Paul Reynolds Community Centre on Carrick Drive, the new traffic circle there, we built half, and then when schools closed we built the half that disrupted the street, so we could have the street back open by the time schools reopened."

There's a different labour market here in Newfoundland than there is in Ontario.   - Coun . Danny Breen

Roadwork on Thorburn Road caused delays Thursday, but Breen said the city has received fewer complaints this year than in summers past.

"The most major complaint I had this year about traffic disruptions was dust, because we had a warm summer and on a windy day you'd have dust whipping up from some of the work that was being done, so we had to pay more attention to having water trucks in the area to keep the dust settled," he said.

St. John's Coun. Danny Breen, chair of the city's public works committee, says night work isn't as feasible in St. John's as it is in other jurisdictions. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Breen said part of the reason there have been fewer complaints this year is that the city isn't doing as much work on high-traffic roads as it has in years past, and some of the recent delays, with repaving on Topsail Road for example, came from an effort to finish work on busy streets before school started.

But doing work at night — as is common elsewhere — would drive the cost up, he said.

"There's a different labour market here in Newfoundland than there is in Ontario, and the construction companies would say there's a premium to doing it at night," he said.

Highway work — the province's responsibility — would be one thing, but work within the city is another, said Breen.

"We get a signfiicant number of noise complaints now, and if it was done overnight, I would say they would increase exponentially," he said.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show