Sunset doesn't mean road construction or the noise that comes with it - stops, especially on University Avenue where contractors are on a tight schedule for completion.
The first section of concrete was scheduled to be poured Wednesday, and with it will come noise that will go on through the night, said Marvin Christiansen, University Avenue project engineer for the Utah Department of Transportation.The noise, a grinding sound, will come from saws used to cut the concrete as it solidifies, he said.
"Sawing has to be done as soon as the concrete starts to set up. If we don't, the concrete fractures and is ruined."
To help the road resurfacing and reconstruction, the City Council amended an ordinance at Tuesday's meeting allowing special construction projects to qualify for exemption from Provo's standard noise level.
"Our concern is that there may come a time of inclement weather when we can't get the work done," Christiansen said. "We would have to get in and work whatever schedule the contractor sees fit to get it done on time."
The contractor, Geneva Rock Products, is fined $2,000 a day if each block of the project is not completed within 30 calendar days, he said. So far the company is on schedule with Wednesday's concrete pour.
The pour - 50 feet wide and 500 feet long - includes the west side of the road from Fifth South to Fourth South. The other half will be poured Friday or Saturday.
The following week, before the 30 days is up, will be used to complete road work with such details as striping.
"Unless we are banging on concrete, the noise level is about the same as normal traffic," Christiansen said. "The only difference is that the normal noise may go on through the night if it's required."
Christiansen said they haven't received any noise complaints yet, but no nighttime sawing has begun either.
Noise exceeding 65 decibels during the day or 55 decibels during the night violates Provo's noise ordinance. The permit allows contractors to exceed the limit for special projects.
Most construction noise occurs in the initial excavation of the project when concrete is being broken, Christiansen said. During backhoe operation, UDOT officials measured 73 decibels on site and 55 decibels a block away.
"We may not have to work 24-hour days, but we need it as an option to meet the schedule," Christiansen said. Crews are now working 10-hour days Monday through Saturday.
Construction, which extends from Fifth South to Eighth North, began April 12 and will take about six months.
UDOT has developed a comic strip to offer citizens a laugh or two along the way.
The comic strips explain the road construction, tell where to call for information and where the detours are.
"We want this construction to be viewed in a positive light," said Kevin Beckstrom, UDOT public information officer and creator of the cartoons. "We want people to see this as a chance to improve the city and do a little exploring in their own back yard."