Round-the-clock roadwork pledges a pipe dream, says Manitoba Heavy Construction Association

Despite the promise by several candidates to look at 24/7 road construction in the City of Winnipeg, the president of the local construction association says it’s just not possible here.“Well, 24-7 is something that has been discussed for a quite number of years in the City of Winnipeg and it hasn’t been used, because quite frankly it can’t in this market,” said Chris Lorenc of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.Story continues below

READ MORE: Interchange at Hwy. 59 and Perimeter to open Saturday, says provinceLorenc said the closeness of residential homes to streets means the noise carries and disrupts neighbourhoods. Doing that around the clock would prompt nothing but complaints, he said.“When industry was building the Waverley extension, we were getting complaints from residents well beyond a kilometre away, to the police department that the construction noise was traveling.”Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman pledged Friday to commit to an industry working group tasked with looking into 24/7 construction, improving communication between residents and businesses and looking at early procurement to local roads should he be re-elected Oct. 24.READ MORE: City of Winnipeg officially launches record road construction seasonCandidate Jenny Motkaluk called the pledge an “imitation.”“I would like to thank Brian Bowman for … reiterating the great ideas that I and other candidates have already tabled on smarter procurement and infrastructure planning,” she said in a statement sent to media.Trying 24/7 construction would be more expensive as well, said Lorenc, and has its own challenges.“We have enough people, but how much do you want to pay for your construction … we can’t source inspectors in the middle of the night. There are safety issues that apply that don’t apply during daylight hours.”Lorenc said there are other ways to speed up construction, including using concrete that cures faster and shutting down streets completely to shorten the construction period.In 2018, the city saw record-breaking road construction in terms of money spent. A map of road construction projects happening in the city online.READ MORE: Empress Street crowned worst road in ManitobaThis year’s budget included $116 million for improvements to local and regional streets, back lanes and sidewalks.By the time it’s all said and done, the city said it expects to have completed 150 lane kilometres of improvements.In 2017 the city budgeted $105 million in road repairs.WATCH: ‘Everywhere you turn you’re blocked’: Winnipeg driver’s construction angst