Bridge work in Morell is a noisy process for now, says mayor

·2 min read
Crews are pounding heavy steel into place to support a temporary bridge that spans the river.  (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Crews are pounding heavy steel into place to support a temporary bridge that spans the river. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

The community of Morell is busy — and noisy — these days with heavy construction equipment in use, as replacement of the highway bridge continues.

The mayor is asking for people's patience.

"It'd be nice if it wasn't there, but in reality we need a bridge," said Mayor David MacAdam. "And the only way to get that is to do what they're doing."

Crews are pounding upright steel tubes into the river bed and on shore, to support a temporary bridge that is to be constructed.

The loud pounding noises started about two weeks ago, and the sound is audible throughout most of the community, especially in the vicinity of the construction zone.

One business owner sent her staff home last week because of the noise.

"I didn't want to subject my employees or clients to the incredible banging noise," said Donna Glass, owner of Kingfisher Outdoors, a kayak rental and tour company that has operated on the Morell River for years.

"I have great sympathy for even the workers that are working here on this project. I hope they have good equipment for their protection."

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

The heavy steel is hoisted into the air and pounded into position by a large crane. Once positioned vertically in the river bed and along shore, crews are using cutting torches to trim the pylons to the proper height.

Pile-driving activity on the western shore will be complete this week, according to the mayor. Residents will get a break from the noise for two weeks as crews move the pile-driving gear to the far side of the river. Then the pounding will start again, for another 10 days or so.

Morell is a busy place for construction this year, according to the mayor. Crews are also replacing a major bridge along the Confederation Trail, and the community has just completed an upgrade on its sewage treatment lagoon, to protect water quality on the picturesque river. Volunteers are now building a children's splash pad in a local park.

In addition to recreational boaters and anglers, the river and its launch ramp in Morell are used by commercial oyster harvesters and eel fishers, according to MacAdam.

Glass is keeping her kayaking clients away from the construction zone for safety reasons.

"It wouldn't be safe," said Glass.

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