Paving work on the Hillsborough Bridge is being done in the evening and overnight hours to reduce the impact on traffic, says the chief engineer for P.E.I.'s Department of Transportation.
Stephen Yeo said the tender specified the work must be done between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., and though it will cost 20 to 30 per cent more, it will get the job done quicker (about five weeks) and keep daytime traffic flowing between Stratford and Charlottetown.
"It's more efficient for the contractor to do it because there's less traffic there so they can proceed at a pretty high rate of speed," he said in an interview with Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.
Traffic has been an issue on the bridge during the construction of the recently completed active transportation lane.
This is the first time the province has tendered a contract for paving work to be specifically done overnight, Yeo said.
"Over the past year and a half, two years, we had one lane of traffic shut down a lot of the time — and then with reversing traffic during the day. So this was, you know, a better way to do it."
Yeo said there are risks and associated costs with paving at night, such as extra lighting and safety measures. They are also using a new, more expensive waterproof asphalt. But he said ripping up the old ashphalt at the approaches took only two days, where it may have taken four during daytime hours.
"The advantage is you don't have to shut two lanes of the bridge down for two days with no traffic on it. Because, you can imagine, trying to upgrade the Hillsborough Bridge with only two lanes open for four days, there'd be backlog of traffic for hours."