Make it stop: Park-loving tots frightened by noise from ongoing construction at Pier 6

Make it stop: Park-loving tots frightened by noise from ongoing construction at Pier 6
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

Call it a tower tantrum.

Noise from the construction of two towers at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 is scaring youngsters at a popular playground next to the work site, according to several parents.

“My son doesn’t like the noise,” said Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Monica Lubin, whose son was playing in a sandbox near the construction zone. “He was complaining that it’s too loud and he had his hands on his ears. It’s scary.”

Crews started building the high-rises at the foot of Atlantic Avenue on July 19 and are in the 34-day process of hammering more than 400 steel beams into the ground. Each pile is driven into the earth in two 10-minute increments, an activity that exceeds 100 decibels, which is approximately the same noise level as a loud rock concert.

Civic group the Brooklyn Heights Association is currently fighting the development in court, alleging the park is violating the terms of a 2006 agreement that mandates green space honchos only build as much housing as is necessary to fund the meadow’s upkeep.

Last month, lawyers for the association asked the case’s judge to halt construction until the court makes its ruling, arguing the work will disturb park-goers, including borough tykes who hit the playground during the busy summer season to splash around, dig in the sandbox, and ride on the slides.

But the judge denied the request because the work doesn’t violate any laws or the city’s noise code, and construction has proceeded ever since.

The driver pummeling the beam into bedrock produces a sound similar to that of loud hammering, and workers average eight piles per day, according to a park spokesman.

Parents described children covering their ears to muffle the noise, which they said is an unfortunate side effect of building the towers.

“I think it’s very noisy, it’s very loud,” said Flatbush resident Cindy Velsquez, who was at the park with her 8-month-old daughter. “She got a little scared, but what are you going to do? I guess they have to do it if they’re going to build, but I wish it wasn’t so close to the park.”

Another caretaker said she’s used to the noise as a New Yorker, but the tot she watches is not as familiar with the roaring soundtrack of city life.

“He says, ‘That’s a lot of noise,’ and always asks me ‘What’s that?’ ” said Fritzlaine Jean, who nannies for 22-month-old Rohan. “I’m used to it though because we live in New York.”

A park spokesman said it is following the city’s noise mitigation rules, which include erecting a 10-foot fence around the site, and claimed the construction is not stopping squirts from having a good time.

“We’re pleased to note that we’ve seen no decrease in play area use near the project,” said green space rep James Yolles. “Despite the short-term noise, most users we’ve spoken to about the construction understand how vitally important this project is to ensure long-term upkeep of both those play areas and the entire park.”

And one mom said the ongoing work gives her youngster a chance to get up close and personal with some of his favorite construction equipment.

“It’s loud but we love the machines,” said Morgan Henry.

44 beams have been hammered into the ground so far, and the rest will be in by the end of September, according to a park spokesman.

The case over construction of the towers was reassigned last week to a new judge, who will review four-months worth of litigants’ transcripts before deciding if she can make a ruling or needs to hear more arguments.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill