By David F. Rooney
If life was a movie, the residents of Columbia Park would be acting in either Rip-Rappin’ the Night Away or Sleepless in Columbia Park. And that’s because they are going without lately — sleep that is — as heavy equipment contracted by BC Hydro applies rip-rap to the banks of the Columbia River on the north side of the golf course.
The racket from the operation is keeping people awake and just a wee bit irritable in the mornings.
“I’m not grumpy — I’m tired!” grouched neighbourhood resident Jackie Morris who had e-mailed The Revelstoke Current early Wednesday morning to alert it regarding the noise.
“I have been awake since 2:30 a.m. this morning, unable to sleep due to the loud and percussive noise of the rip-rap being applied to the edge of the river at the golf course,” she said in her e-mail adding that since her home is “not close to the action… I pity the people who live closer to the golf course.”
She was not the first person to complain about the noise. George Hopkins e-mailed The Current at 10:30 on Tuesday evening. And at 8 p.m. on Wednesday he called to say the heavy equipment was once again serenading the area.
At that point I headed up Westside Road to the Jordan River Bridge where I had a clear view of one of the mammoth excavators at work on the river bank of the golf course about 200 or 300 metres away. Large trucks conveyed heavy loads of rock to the rip-rap site from the quarry on Westside Road.
The rip-rap is being applied to help protect the river bank from higher flows due to the installation of Unit 5 at the Revelstoke Generating Station. BC Hydro was contacted on Wednesday with questions about the operation.
“We expect to complete the shoreline protection project at the Revelstoke Golf Club by the end of October,” BC Hydro’s Jennifer Walker-Larsen said Thursday. ”Under the project, rip-rap is being placed on just over one kilometre of shoreline to protect from increased river flows expected from the operation of the additional units at Revelstoke dam (Unit 5 currently under construction and Unit 6 although BC Hydro has no plans to install Unit 6 at this time).”
She said the rip-rap placement at the toe of the bank requires low Columbia River flows, hence the nighttime operations.
“Flows are too high during the day so this portion of the work must be done at night when flows are reduced,” Walker-Larsen said.
“As part of our noise bylaw exemption application, BC Hydro placed an ad in the Revelstoke Times Review that ran for two weeks in July. We also hand delivered copies of the ad to residents at the end of Laforme Drive. In addition, the Revelstoke Golf Club ran an ad in the Revelstoke Times Review to advise them of the project for two weeks at the beginning of September.
“BC Hydro apologizes for any inconvenience and would like to assure residents that we are closely working with our contractors to minimize nighttime noise from this much needed project to the extent possible.”
You can watch a video of the machines at work by clicking this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujkQYqUO1Ok or by going to The Current Video feature on the front page of the news site. Be sure and turn up the volume so you can savour the full audio effect of this nighttime operation.