LOWER MANHATTAN — Noisy late-night construction on the Brooklyn Bridge has to stop, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told city officials last week.
After hearing from Southbridge Towers residents who cannot sleep because of the constant jackhammering outside their windows, Silver wrote a letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan asking her to step in and help.
"Residents have had to endure extremely loud noise levels, which the Department of Transportation has in the past admitted exceed the city’s own codes," Silver wrote in the Aug. 24 letter.
"Because the worst of this construction noise occurs from approximately 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., while most residents are trying to sleep, the impact has been particularly trying."
Silver suggested the city use noise-dampening devices on the heavy equipment, and also asked that the city look into installing sound barriers in the apartments most affected by the construction.
While Sadik-Khan has not formally responded to Silver's letter, a DOT spokesman said the agency has already taken many steps in response to residents' concerns, including using quieter equipment, moving some noisy work to the daytime and changing truck routes.
"We look forward to continue working with elected officials, the community board and other stakeholders to address this matter," the DOT spokesman said in a statement.
The four-year, $508 million overhaul of the landmark Brooklyn Bridge started last summer and includes strengthening its supports, widening its approach ramps and giving it a fresh coat of paint.
The jackhammering is necessary to remove old trolley tracks found beneath the roadbed and will likely last through the end of the year, DOT officials said in June.
Officials admitted then that the contractor was regularly exceeding the city noise codes by about 10 decibels, in spite of attempts to make the work quieter.
The Brooklyn Bridge reconstruction is not scheduled to finish until the summer of 2014.