Rock stabilization work at Porteau Cove will mean some additional highway closures in May.
Highway construction has been ongoing for the past few weeks with only minor delays of 15 minutes between Lions Bay and Whistler. A similar work schedule will be maintained for next week with a maximum of 30 minutes in delays from Monday to Thursday, but a handful of mid-day closures are being planned for May 3, 10 and 17 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Porteau Cove area.
According to Rick Hyde, the manager of community relations for the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project, the delay/closure schedule reflects the desire to complete work with minimal disruptions for Sea to Sky communities.
The only closures scheduled until June 15 are at Porteau Cove.
"We will essentially be doing some work on the rocks on the edge of the bluffs there, and that will require two or three two-hour closures," said Hyde.
On the Northern Work Site, an area stretching from Porteau Cove to Whistler, delays of up to 15 minutes are expected from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mondays to noon on Fridays, until June 15.
For the Southern Work Site, expect 15 minute delays until June 15 from 11 p.m. on Sundays to 3 a.m. on Mondays and between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Mondays to noon on Fridays.
There will also be 30 minute delays on Mondays from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Monday to Thursday.
The schedulers have co-ordinated the work schedule so the most a traveller will have to wait is 30 minutes, even if they hit more than one delay.
A new schedule will be posted for the period after June 15, which is expected to be similar minor delays and few scheduled closures. Updates will be posted on the projects website, www.seatoskyimprovments.ca as they become available.
For commuters, Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project is launching a new trip calculator that estimates how long in will take you to drive to Sea to Sky locations with the delays in effect. Visit http://linux.lunadesign.org/tripcal/ to see how it works.
The actual contract for the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project has yet to be finalized. The Ministry of Transportation is still in negotiations with the S2S Transportation Group, which was selected as the preferred proponent in March after a bidding contest.
A commercial agreement should be signed at the end of April, specifying the precise details of the construction contract, and should be followed shortly afterwards by a financial contract, which contains all budget details.
The S2S Transportation Group is a conglomeration of several companies, including the international Macquarie Group. B.C. companies include Peter Kiewit Sons Co., JJM Construction, Hatt Mott MacDonald, ND Lea- McElhanney Engineering Services Ltd. and Capilano Highway Services. n