Lansdowne, Westboro convent construction exempted from late-night noise bylaws

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Massive construction projects at Lansdowne Park and at a former convent on Richmond Road just got a little worse for nearby residents: City council gave builders permission Wednesday for noisy concrete work at both sites to run late into the night.

The trouble, according to the motions councillors approved Wednesday, is that when concrete is poured in cold weather it has to be warmed with gas heaters so it sets properly. Councillors exempted both projects from the city's usual construction-noise bylaw. The exemptions are slightly different for each site, but will effectively allow heaters to run 24 hours a day until May and to let work go on till 1 a.m. several days a week.

On a couple of occasions at Lansdowne, councillors heard, concrete will have to be poured around the clock. Residents will have to be warned at least two days in advance.

The approval for the convent site at 114 Richmond Rd., where Ashcroft is building a condominium complex, was unanimous; Glebe councillor David Chernushenko was the lone vote against the approval for Lansdowne, "in solidarity" with residents.

They've been through a lot, Chernushenko said, starting with preliminary construction a year ago, digging and dust in the hot summer, and lately weeks of compaction work, in which soil is pressed down soil so it can built on.

"Which, if you haven't heard it, is short for having the fillings in your teeth shaken for hours on end," Chernushenko said.

Worse than that, nearby residents were among those most opposed to the Lansdowne redevelopment project in the first place.

Construction manager Marco Manconi said everything that can be done to minimize the effects on neighbours is being done. But the nature of the work and the intense construction schedule needed to get the site ready for football games by summer 2014 makes the inconvenience unavoidable.

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