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Report: Nighttime construction in Sudbury costs 30-40% more, workers less productive


While there are obvious advantages, there are plenty of drawbacks to having road construction crews work at night, says a report headed to Sudbury’s operations committee Tuesday.

The biggest single advantage, the report said, is reducing delays and interruptions for drivers and businesses that use the road.

“During any given construction season, the city receives a number of calls to 311 from the travelling public regarding traffic delays due to road construction,” the report said.

“Conducting road work at night has been suggested as one way to better manage this problem. Night work is conducted regularly throughout Canada, the province and to date, has been completed on select projects within the city to minimize potential negative impacts on residents and businesses.”

The projects best suited for nighttime work are ones where equipment can be moved to one side during the day, including road resurfacing, crack sealing and watermain lining.

Projects that require excavation, by comparison, are poor candidates for night work since they will cause delays regardless of when the work is being done.

Overall, the report said productivity and job quality suffer when work is done at night for a few reasons. One is workers are tired because of their new sleep schedule. In addition, support staff needed to inspect the job aren’t available and working with utilities has to wait until daylight when their staff is available.


The biggest challenge, however, is the fact that work done at night is 30-40 per cent more expensive. Costs rise in part because workers get a shift premium for night work, and more safety staff are needed at night.

There are also “additional costs to supply time-sensitive materials such as concrete, granular material and asphalt as local suppliers must extend operating hours,” the report said.

And if sudden repairs are needed, support staff aren’t available, leading to construction delays.

“While night work certainly provides benefits for residents and the business community through minimized disruptions to service delivery and traffic flow, these benefits come at a significant cost,” the report said in its summary.

“Previous experience indicates that night work can cost as much as 30 per cent to 40 per cent more than completing the same work during daytime hours. Several factors outlined within this report should be considered when determining whether to use night work as a tool to deliver a capital project efficiently.”

Read the full report here. Top Stories

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