City promised to keep construction work quiet

Noise-mitigating tools being used during reconstruction of the Hubbard Street/Guider Avenue Bridge and access ramp to help residents living near the work get a good night’s sleep just aren’t doing the job, according to those residents.

The city installed nylon sound buffers and workers are using “quieter” jackhammers during the construction, but many residents say the noise from the 11 pm to 5 am pile drive and other work still keeps them awake at night.

“It keeps me up every night,” said Rusel Garcia, the super of an E. Seventh Street apartment building that is next to the highway. “I live right by the project and I always hear loud ‘booms.’ ”

The city demolished the original structure in May to start building a new one from scratch, a project that is set to be finished by April. People have been complaining about the construction’s noise since the demolition began. However, they had hoped that the pneumatic jackhammers and sound-mitigating sheets that workers placed between the hammer and the foundation that they are setting up would give them some sleep relief.

“I heard the noise this week,” said Hubbard Street resident Betty Palmieri. “Whatever they used hasn’t worked.”

Pneumatic jackhammers are considered quieter power tools because they are not revved up by a motor, but by compressed air that’s pumped through a hose. However, they are still loud. Their operators usually have to wear earmuffs, according to the construction manual “Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction.”

The households this paper spoke to along Shore Parkway, across the street from the project, all heard the pile driving, which started Nov. 8 and ended Nov. 13. Households on the southern sides of E. Seventh and Hubbard streets, a half-block away from the construction, were also subjected to the noise. However, those living a full block away from the pile driving, near Avenue Z, slept like babies.

“I didn’t hear a thing,” said Frank Messano, the Hubbard Street resident who has been pleased with the city ever since workers fixed his street’s sinkhole last month.

However, those living closest to the highway shouldn’t expect to snooze comfortably anytime soon. The next phase of the project brings overnight construction work to the westbound side of the Belt, right across the street from a block of two-family homes, according to a Department of Transportation-issued notice. The city did not respond to requests asking if additional sound-mitigating tools would be used.