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Dear East 40th Neighbors,
Following is a round-up of recent activities on the water storage project, more information about controlled underground blasting, and a traffic safety message.

What’s been happening at the site?

Topsoil excavation is still underway and on schedule.

A third-party contractor is performing pre-blast home inspections for neighbors within 500 feet of areas to be blasted.

EWEB’s Safety Officer visited the site to take noise measurements. Noise was within acceptable OSHA limits on the property and workers on the site were using appropriate safety measures while the equipment was operating.

EWEB met with the Lane Regional Air Protection Authority (LRAPA), the City of Eugene and the Contractor to discuss dust mitigation. As a result, additional rock was installed over the haul roads on the site, one laborer from the construction company has been dedicated to spraying down the haul road and each dump truck load as it leaves the site when conditions are dry, and dump truck load size has been reduced.

EWEB, the contractor and City staff worked together to improve stormwater management. Check dams were installed to keep turbid water from the newly installed rock on the haul routes from running off the site into the gutter.

EWEB hosted a drop-in information session for neighbors at the project site. The contractor was available to answer questions about controlled drilling and blasting.

EWEB worked with the contractor to add more signs on E. 40th that alert drivers to trucks entering the roadway.

Drilling work to prepare the site for underground blasting will begin soon. Expect elevated noise levels during the drilling phase.

Drilling and underground blasting is expected to begin the second or third week of October.

Underground Controlled Blasting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is underground blasting?

Underground controlled blasting is a common infrastructure construction method used to break rock for excavation. Holes are drilled into the rock for placement of the blasting agent. Packed dirt is added to holes and above the rock. A seismograph records blast vibrations to verify they are within specifications.

Is it safe?

Yes. Controlled blasting is highly regulated and conducted using safe methods and procedures by trained professionals. Blasts will be monitored by seismographs to maintain acceptable levels of ground motion in conjunction with vibration controls. Each blasting event will occur only after verification of all safety precautions and the site is deemed cleared and secure by the blaster-in-charge.

What can I expect to hear/see/feel?

Air horn safety signals will sound 5 minutes and 1 minute before the blast and at the conclusion of the blast. In addition to the air horn, those very near to the construction site may feel a vibration comparable to a door slam or a large truck driving down the street.

Dust suppression systems and heavy blasting mats will be in place to minimize vibration and debris.

Watch an example of controlled underground blasting.

When will blasting occur?

Blasting activity will likely begin the second or third week of October and continue for approximately six months. Current plans call for a blasting event once a day between 1-1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The blasting schedule is subject to change and to the extent weather or project schedule necessitates blasting outside of those times, blasting would occur during daylight hours Monday through Friday. No blasting will be performed weekends or federal holidays.

What should I do to prepare?

Residents living adjacent to the project site may wish to keep windows closed for the brief period of the blasting, between the one-minute signal and the following all-clear signal. If you are near the construction site and hear an air horn, please be aware blasting activity will occur shortly and follow instructions of site personnel or any additional signage that may be posted.

Use caution as truck traffic increases
Vehicles and cyclists using E. 40th Ave. and Hilyard St. should use caution as dump truck traffic increases as part of the construction project.

“Hilyard Street as it passes by Tugman Park can start to feel a bit crowded with vehicles parked on both sides of the street,” said EWEB Senior Engineer Laura Farthing. “We’re asking people to slow down, keep an eye out for kids and drive cautiously.”

Contact us with questions

If you have questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the project team at 541-685-7899 or Emails sent to this address will reach:

Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor

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