The City of Kamloops has decided to move the Victoria Street West reconstruction project to a 24-hour schedule for the next to six to eight weeks, meaning crews will be working around the clock.
The result will mean the project will likely be finished by the summer of 2020, about a half-year earlier than originally estimated, with no extra costs above the $13-million budget, according to Darren Crundwell, the city’s capital projects manager.
Extreme Excavating will begin 24-hour work on Sunday, May 26. Until now, construction work has been implemented in 12-hour shifts, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“In the initial stages of planning, it was felt that this project would be complete by winter 2020. However, Extreme Excavating has been very innovative in helping us identify ways to shorten the duration of construction and thereby minimize the impact on the businesses affected and on commuting traffic,” Crundwell said.
“This move to a 24-hour construction schedule for the next six to eight weeks will allow work to proceed much faster and ultimately will shorten the initial duration of the project by four to six months.”
Night work will begin on the evening of Sunday, May 26. During daytime hours, two lanes of traffic will be maintained. Decisions regarding a switch to single-lane, alternating traffic during evening hours will be made by Extreme as the night work progresses.
“When we started the communications for this project, we always indicated that there would be times when we would be going to 24-hour-a-day, six days a week and night shifts,” Crundwell said, noting the shift to around-the-clock work is being done now due to the constrained environment on the south side of the street.
“If you look at Emerald House, it’s basically right against the property line. It’s just so constrained working in there, we know we’re going to be more efficient working at night. And possibly, I’ll throw it out there, after 10 o’clock at night, we can go down to single lane and it won’t impact the public.”
Crundwell said there are milestones in the schedule the city and Extreme want to achieve, noting the project remains in schedule and on budget. Crundwell clarified that when he cited, in a May 10 KTW story, high costs and difficulties working with utilities as being challenges to working around the clock, he was referencing queries regarding 24-hour work through the entire project schedule.
The next six to eight weeks during which crews will be working around the clock will involve deep servicing of water, storm, sewer lines and BC Hydro lines on the south side of West Victoria Street.
“It’s only for two months. We’re not proposing to carry this forward to the end of the project,” Crundwell said. “You know, we were asked these questions about the bridge, too [the 2015 resurfacing project of Overlanders Bridge]. If we’re doing paving and finishing work, working at night is not the best. It’s not ideal. Your quality and finishing are not there, either.”
Stage 1 work continues and will overlap with Stage 2 work until approximately the end of July.
Stage 1 construction is taking place between First Avenue and the centre island at Seymour Street West/Victoria Street West. Current stage 1 traffic flow patterns will remain in place and transit and emergency services vehicles will continue to receive priority routing around the Stage 1 construction zone.
Stage 2 will encompass the Victoria Street West corridor from Seymour Street West near BCLC’s upper parking lot entrance to just west of Boomers Automotive near Overlanders Bridge.
All businesses along the Victoria Street West corridor are open and accessible, including those located within stage 1 below BCLC and those located on both sides of the road within stage 2.
A variety of work is being done in the project — upgrading utilities below the street that are more than 100 years old, adding new lighting and sidewalks on both sides of the street, landscaping, repaving the road, signal and crosswalk changes and relocation of power lines underground.
To view project staging plans, Stage 1 business access map, traffic webcams, construction photos, and more, visit LetsTalk.Kamloops.ca/VictoriaWest