Carboro City Council votes to approve overnight concrete pours at Project 203 site

The Carboro City Council voted unanimously to approve an exemption for after-hours concreting work at the Project 203 construction site, with an amendment to limit work done over the weekend.

The proposed building, located at 203 S. Greensboro St., will eventually house the Orange County South Branch Library, Orange County Skills Development Center and WCOM Radio. Current estimates for the project indicate that construction will be completed by spring 2024.

According to Carboro Capital Projects Manager Ben Schmadeke, Project 203 will require approximately eight after-hours concrete pours throughout the construction process to complete the building and parking deck.

However, this would generate machine noise overnight – which is currently prohibited within 300 feet of residential structures by Carrboro city code.

Schmadeke said the noise would be created by several unavoidable sources, including early morning concrete deliveries, concrete and pumping trucks, vibrations and back-up alarms on construction vehicles.

“We ask council to consider making an exception for building 203,” he said.

To gain this approval, Schmadeke proposed several measures to mitigate the amount of noise for nearby residents and businesses. Some of these measures include notifying nearby residents a week in advance of planned work, soundproofing alarms to OSHA minimum standards, and a good faith desire to minimize construction noise during after pours. work hours.

He also said the council had previously granted exemptions to other overnight construction projects in the area.

Carrboro Mayor Pro Tem Susan Romaine expressed concern about the potential for overnight construction work being carried out over the weekend.

“Would it work if we were to say these payouts wouldn’t happen on a Saturday or Sunday morning before 3am?” she says. “In other words, could the flows only occur Monday through Friday?”

This concern was shared by Carrboro City Council member Eliazar Posada, who said he found it important that work done over the weekend be limited as much as possible.

In response, Robert Eagle, senior project manager for Barnhill Contracting Co., said that while overnight flows were unlikely to occur on a Sunday, Saturday might be needed as a fallback option in case of rain or sleet. other problems during the work week.

“Sometimes you have to make exceptions and make it sink on Saturday,” he said.

Additionally, Schmadeke said late-night construction often required bright lights — something not addressed by the mitigation plan presented, which instead focused explicitly on reducing disturbance created by noise.

To combat this problem, Schmadeke proposed both minimizing the use of lights and moving them away from residential areas south of the construction zone.

Council member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said it’s important that all Carrboro residents who would be affected by nighttime noise know about it in advance. They noted, for example, that a map of affected residents did not include some of the residences west and south of the construction site.

Council Member Sammy Slade shared this concern and recommended using community mailing lists to better inform residents of residential areas around the construction site of the noise expected overnight.

The council eventually decided unanimously to approve the exemption with an amendment to exclude flows on Sundays and minimize them on Saturdays.

“We want to make sure this building is finished, we want to make sure it’s for the community, but I don’t want to cause people undue hardship either,” Posada said.


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