Construction on Baron Road is about to get a little louder and perhaps even a bit dustier, following Kelowna City Council’s approval of a mobile rock crusher to be used on the future site of a new Costco.
Council gave the green light for a temporary use permit, during a Tuesday evening meeting that would allow for the crusher to be in use for up to three months.
Between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. during weekdays, the mobile crusher will be on-site to break down approximately 4,500 cubic metres of material, which is equivalent to around 320 dump truck loads of fill.
While the temporary use permit grants a time period of up to three months, PEAK Construction’s senior project manager Brian Menzies said that he anticipates that the rock-crushing will not exceed more than 21 days.
“The volume of oversized material that would be crushed is lower than expected. That 21 day period, we expect to not exceed that for sure,” said Menzies. “The expectation is that we will not exceed or come anywhere near that three months.”
However, a number of concerns raised by councillors and residents in neighbouring homes revolved around the rock crusher’s hours of operation, the noise and the amount of dust that would result from the crushing.
“I just worry about the residents living nearby — the noise, the dust, the traffic, the in and out of trucks. I just worry about this aspect,” said councillor Mohini Singh.
Nola Kilmartin of WSP Global explained that the purpose of the application is to use material found on-site to avoid having to haul it away and then bring additional fill material back onto the site.
She also highlighted that there are residences located on three sides of the site, with the separation distances measured at 50 metres, 51 metres and 68 metres.
“The data we have on crushers is that 90 to 99-decibel level drops to 74 to 85 decibels once the 20-metre separation is introduced. Data shows that the range of 70 to 75 decibels, and at 50 metres, was as low as 62 decibels,” she said.
“This crusher won’t be located any closer to 50 metres from residential dwellings, so the noise levels will be significantly less than at the 20-metre data measurements.”
Although the machine is mobile, she noted that the crusher doesn’t need to be moved around the site, so the plan is to stockpile the material in one location and process them in batches between the 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. time frame, a schedule that she said was determined based on feedback and consultation from nearby residents.
As for dust concerns, Menzies said that the rock crusher is equipped with a wash bar that sprays water onto the material as it’s processed, which is designed to mitigate airborne dust.
“We’re trying to strategically locate the crusher in the centre of the site to again mitigate the impact of airborne dust, should it become an issue,” he said.
By placing the machine in the centre of the site, he added that he also doesn’t expect vibrations to be an issue.
“The further away we are, the less impactful we will be on those adjacent properties,” he said. “It’s a mobile piece of equipment about the size of a dump truck. It is static, so it’s in one place.”