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Noisy West Side Construction Is 'Driving Everybody Crazy,' Neighbors Say

By Maya Rajamani | April 14, 2016 4:19pm
 Neighbors say jack hammering and other construction at the Dyer Avenue Expressway Bridge has been waking them up nearly every night.
Neighbors say jack hammering and other construction at the Dyer Avenue Expressway Bridge has been waking them up nearly every night.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

CHELSEA — Residents living near a roadway leading into the Lincoln Tunnel say noise from a overnight construction project wakes them up nearly every night.

Since the Port Authority began replacing the Dyer Avenue Expressway Bridge between West 31st and West 33rd streets about a month ago, jackhammering sounds and other construction noises have been “unrelenting” between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weeknights, neighbor Julia Campanelli said.

“It’s driving everybody in the building crazy, everybody in our neighborhood, because it’s so loud,” said Campanelli, who has lived in a building on West 34th Street between Ninth and 10th avenues — behind the Dyer Avenue Bridge project — for the past 30 years.

“I’m woken up every night by it," she added.

West 34th Street resident Stephanie Michael, 32, says her sleep is cut short nearly every night around 2 or 3 a.m. when the jackhammering resumes following a lull shortly after midnight.

“It’s loud enough that you can be woken up out of your sleep,” she said. “We kind of accept the fact, living in New York, noise being a part of our day and construction being a part of our day, but I’m born and bred in New York and I don’t think I can recall this sort of level of construction [noise] overnight.”

Port Authority spokesman Neal Buccino said the project was “unfortunately expected to require the use of jackhammers until approximately mid-May.”

The authority has contracted Brookfield Properties to manage the project, which includes replacing the deck on the bridge between West 31st and West 33rd streets.

Construction workers are using jackhammers to remove the deteriorated concrete on the bridge so that it can be replaced, he said.

“[T]he Port Authority has required the contractor to mitigate the noise with sound blankets, mufflers and jackhammer jackets,” he said. “We are working with Brookfield Properties and the contractor on site to seek additional ways to mitigate the noise.”

But neighbors including Campanelli speculated the construction might have been scheduled at night to avoid disturbing those who work in the office complex at 5 Manhattan West — formerly known as 450 W. 33rd St.

“Top clients” at the building include JPMorgan and R/GA, West 34th Street resident Justin Barton pointed out.

“They don’t want to hear that type of noise,” said Barton, who was one of the tenants who unsuccessfully sought soundproofing at their building when Brookfield Properties was building Manhattan West back in 2014.

“They’re experiencing the peace, but [we] residents… are experiencing the loud jackhammering and sawing everyday,” he added.

Work is taking place at night to avoid “significant traffic disruptions” including road congestion and to shorten the project’s duration, Buccino said.

But Campanelli said the noise has a “huge negative impact on [residents’] quality of life.

Sleep deprivation caused by the nightly noise, she said, has made her sick.

“I’m pretty sure if this was happening on the Upper East Side, where there was a population that was older, they might do something to accommodate,” Michael added.

Barton believes the construction permit should not have been accepted with the currently-scheduled hours.

“I’m not a NIMBY — I’m all about progress — but not at the cost of losing sleep completely,” he said.