The crew at the Nelson Star was treated to five straight hours of jackhammering Tuesday morning. It was an Aspirin-packed morning as contract crews working on the Nelson Hydro upgrades finally made their way to our end of the downtown.
The major infrastructure project has been playing out in the core since the spring. Streets and backalleys have been ripped apart as the crews create an underground maze of new pipes and wires.
Clearly the work has impacted anyone who works or lives in heart of the city. The grinding, roaring, beeping and pounding has pushed patience to the brink. The closed streets and sidewalks have caused plenty of inconvenience for those trying to navigate the already bustling downtown. And the scars left by the work have certainly not beautified our city’s prime asset.
Yet, as we watched the crews at work on Tuesday morning it was hard not to be impressed. Perhaps it’s because the Hall and Herridge stop is one of the last on the tour of destruction, but the scene that played outside our windows was a well choreographed construction performance.
With precision and efficiency, the crew ripped through the task like a strike force. Almost as quickly as they came, they were gone. Suddenly the normal din of the downtown seemed like silence.
Too often in Nelson we take the uncluttered way of life for granted. If we choose, we are always 10 minutes away from the quiet solitude of some forest pathway. So is a noisy downtown construction project really much to gripe about?
In the end we are going to have an upgraded Nelson Hydro, Telus and Shaw Cable system that puts our historic downtown on par with modern society. It was a project that had to happen eventually.
By next summer we will have forgotten the clamor as the comfort of the new and improved core will be ours to enjoy.