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Overnight Construction Set to Rattle East Houston Street

By Andrea Swalec | March 14, 2013 3:02pm

SOHO — The construction that has left East Houston Street an obstacle course of lane closures, missing crosswalks and torn-up sidewalks has been extended and will soon rumble NoHo, SoHo, East Village and Lower East Side residents in the middle of the night.

The $60 million Houston Street Corridor Reconstruction project previously set to be complete in summer 2014 has been extended until October 2014, city Department of Design and Construction community liaison Paul Kidder said at a joint meeting of community boards 2 and 3 Wednesday night.

To keep work to install new water mains near the intersection of East Houston Street and the Bowery on schedule, contractors will work from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, March 25 through Thursday, March 28.

Kidder told concerned residents that workers would follow the Department of Environmental Protection's noise code and reserve the loudest work, like sawing through metal, for the daytime.

"Construction does have noise with it, but we're going to try to limit it as much as we can," he said.

Local Charle-John Cafiero, a marketing strategist and former CB2 member, said signs advising drivers to avoid East Houston Street would be appreciated by residents trying to sleep along a huge stretch of the thoroughfare.

"There has been a tremendous amount of horn-honking on Bowery," he said. "It backs up all the way to Broadway, affecting NoHo."

CB3 district manager Susan Stetzer asked workers to avoid worsening the vermin problem in Peretz Square, which she called "a major rat terminal."

Kidder said he would ask workers to add bait boxes to the area.

Overall, the project will replace water and sewer mains; rebuild the road surface; and install new curbs, sidewalks, traffic signals and more.

Business owners told DNAinfo New York in May that the construction that began in fall 2010 has driven away customers and hurt their bottom line.

Houston Street businesses west of the Bowery were subjected to similar work from 2005 to 2009, when the first phase of the Houston Street Corridor Reconstruction project stretched from the West Side Highway to the Bowery.

The work created a years-long headache, but ultimately improved conditions for drivers and pedestrians, locals said.

The water main work is not expected to affect water service or water pressure, Kidder said.

Anyone with questions or comments about the project can call (212) 387-0983 or email ehoustonccl@gmail.com.