Loud Late-Night Con Ed Work Keeps FiDi Residents Awake

By Irene Plagianos on August 29, 2013 10:22am 

Slideshow
 Overnight noise from jackhammering on Washington Street is leaving some neighborhood residents fuming.
Noisy Con Ed Street Work
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FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The noise from overnight Con Edison street work in the Financial District has left some locals fuming — and sleepless.

Last Friday evening, the utility began cracking open portions of Washington and Rector streets to work on gas lines needed for a 43-story Holiday Inn hotel that’s being built at 99 Washington St. and a long-delayed luxury high-rise at 50 West St. that’s set to be built soon.

Residents said since Friday noise from the work — which lasts from 8:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. every day — has been infuriating. Locals have logged 30 construction-related noise complaints on 311 since the work started, according to the online 311 map.

“It sounds like a war-zone,” said Morgan Buksbaum, 34, whose apartment overlooks Washington Street, between Rector and Ward streets. Buksbaum said noise from late-night jackhammering sounded like "blaring machine guns all night."

“I’ve been going crazy,” he said. “I can’t sleep, and I can’t relax when I come home after work — the sound just hammers away at you.”

The Con Ed work, slated to last three weeks on Washington Street and eight weeks on Rector Street, must take place at night and on weekends, said Robert McGee, a Con Ed spokesman, because the heavily trafficked area near the World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial is home to numerous construction projects, with several daytime street closures already in effect.

McGee said the Department of Transportation, which issued the work permits, prohibited Con Ed from using jackhammers or chainsaws after 10 p.m. — but he admitted that Con Ed broke that rule at least one night this week.

“There was some late-night chainsawing,” McGee said. The company received several complaints about the noise, and, he said, they are doing their best to “minimize the intrusion on residents.”

But, he added, there's much work to be done in a short period of time, and the noise from dump trucks, compressors and the movement of heavy machinery can't be avoided.

Noisy Con Edison Overnight Construction
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Morgan Buksbaum

The DOT said that after receiving a complaint about the noise, the agency will reinspect the area for any violations.

Community Board 1 has received several complaints about the noise as well, a spokesman said.

As of Tuesday evening, Buksbaum said the work had been quieter without the overnight jackhammers, but still frustrating.

"There's construction going on outside my window until 3:30 a.m.," he said. "It's still noisy."

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