Site work has started on Kelowna’s new downtown hotel, with test-pile related activity at the former Willow Inn parking lot.
The parking lot was fenced off on Friday for site preparation and drilling equipment installation. The area will remain fenced off until the Labour Day weekend, when a small portion will be opened for parking stalls.
According to Gail Temple with developer Westcorp, the company is working with with Keller Foundations on the test piles to confirm the most appropriate foundation system for the planned downtown hotel.
“Westcorp and Keller Foundations have collaboratively worked through the objectives for the project and have selected drilled displacement steel piles as the preferred system in response to a number of sensitivities present at the location,” she explains.
The pilings are drilled into the ground rather than driven, and do not rely on vibratory techniques, nor do they carry the impact noise of a traditional driven pile.
“The objective of the development team is to keep construction noise and vibration to an absolute minimum in order to lessen the impact on heritage structures and businesses in the vicinity.”
The parking lot is expected to be fully operational again by the third week of September.
While timelines for construction will be dependent on the test-pile results, it is expected the piling program will begin in early 2016.