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24-Hour Hudson Yards Construction Keeps Neighbors Up at Night, They Say

By Mathew Katz | March 27, 2014 8:53am
 The base of what will become a 47-story skyscraper at Hudson Yards. 
The base of what will become a 47-story skyscraper at Hudson Yards. 
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

HUDSON YARDS — Neighbors of one of the city's busiest construction sites say all-night work is keeping them awake.

The Far West Siders who live across from the Related Companies' Hudson Yards development are fed up with the 24-hour construction, which they say has brought constant jack hammering, shouting and revving equipment to their neighborhood.

"It's all night — I can't get to sleep until 4 a.m. or later because the noise is so bad," said Michael Masters, 39, whose apartment in the Ohm building at 312 11th Ave. faces the massive Hudson Yards construction site, which includes a new Amtrak tunnel.

Work on Hudson Yards' 47-story skyscraper at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue began in late 2012, and crews started to build a massive platform over the West Side Rail Yards earlier this month.

 Hudson Yards construction trucks outside of the Ohm building.
Hudson Yards construction trucks outside of the Ohm building.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

A Related spokeswoman said the noisiest work was part of the Gateway tunneling project, which will eventually allow additional trains to run between Penn Station and Newark. Related is supervising the project, which is adjacent to Hudson Yards and is planned to end in May, the spokeswoman said.

The companies behind the projects have city permission to work 24 hours a day.

The booming noise of hammers and motorized equipment can easily be heard on surrounding blocks.

"It's so loud all the time, I can't even think," said Stacy Alldredge, 46, who's lived in the Ohm building for three years. "The floors vibrate, you can feel a hum when they're drilling. It's so loud, the drilling and pounding and jack hammering."

Alldredge said she's spent the past six weeks looking for a new apartment and has been allowed to break her lease and move out because of the noise. Masters said he was also considering moving out of the 369-unit building, where tenants pay anywhere from $2,695 a month for a studio to $7,300 a month for a two-bedroom.

"People are bailing," said Alldredge, who has tried noise machines and earplugs in the hopes of getting sleep. "It's not just me."

According to Department of Buildings records, Related's construction company, Tutor Perini, said it needed the $1,700 After Hours Variance Permit because of "public safety." 

A Department of Buildings spokeswoman said after-hours variances are issued when the scope of the work requires construction to continue outside of normal business hours, but could not elaborate further.

The DOB has received 10 complaints about work going on between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., records show.

"I can't believe anyone can live here — it would drive me nuts," said Sarina Weissman, 44, an Ohio resident who was recently visiting the High Line, which is near Hudson Yards.

The 26-acre Hudson Yards project will eventually include 13 million square feet of development in the form of several new buildings — meaning construction will last for years to come. Along with Hudson Yards, several other buildings are being built on the south side of the block as well.

"I've been wearing earplugs, I've put on two fans to drown out the noise, but it only works to a certain degree, depending on where the machines are outside," Masters said.

Fed up by the noise, Masters bought a sound level meter, which measured the night noise at 90 decibels.

A spokeswoman for Related said that noise levels are being closely monitored to ensure compliance with the permit. The company and Tutor Perini have already met with Ohm's management over the noise, and plan to meet with them again in the future.