Loud noises at night have triggered multiple incident reports filled with the exasperation of local residents in the last several days and weeks. One Dean Street resident last night shouted "Hey, you! Out there! I've got kids trying to sleep!" to a worker banging his crowbar against a fender in the staging area at 10:30 PM. In another case a resident on Vanderbilt reports a vibration so impactful artwork fell off the walls at 12:15 AM.
A resident on St. Mark's Avenue reports "intense pounding/crashing noises coming from the construction site as I write -- "and we are 3 blocks away with sound-proofed windows! ... How is this permissable?" St. Marks Avenue is uphill from the construction site and some rear windows have an unobstructed path for sounds emanating from the construction site. The filer reports noise extending to 1 AM on Wednesday night.
Another filer from Pacific Street reports two "extremely noisy" nights in a row and that "the loud beeping sound of the trucks with loud bangs and booms stops me from sleeping. I can still hear it even with ear plugs." The filer also complains about the "bright white stadium lights that shine directly into my bedroom window." The lights are railyard lights installed to faciliate LIRR repairs that can only be executed when the railyard is dormant, but have been retasked by FCRC for use now by construction crews. The filer asks, "Does anyone take these complaints seriously or will I have to takes matters into my own hands and seek legal advice?"
These complaints follow last week's about late night jackhammering and loud booms. The jackhammering turned out to be a hoe ram which in response to complaints on this website, the ESDC states it asked FCRC no longer to use at night. "I was woken up by incessant jackhammering that sounded like it was right outside my window. Then after it stopped I fell back asleep and was jolted awake again by a bomb like crash that shook the building and even knocked taped up artwork from the walls." The source of the "bomb like crash" has not been identified, but it may be the stacking of large metal plates.
There are a range of sources for the noise, explaining the colorful language required to describe the character of the sounds. Booms and crashes are particularly hard to identify because they are related to materials or equipment being moved rather than the functioning of mechanized equipment. The specs of a piece of mechanized equipment like a hoe ram are understood to some extent, but it is more difficult to anticipate the decibel level of a large metal plate landing on concrete or a dumpster being dropped on the ground. Discerning what the source is can be difficult and often requires getting out of bed and going to the window. Filing a 311 complaint late at night is an additional but worthwhile hurdle.
The work causing the noise is in the railyard where work is allowed until 3 AM, the staging area where work takes place whenever work is occuring elsewhere, and on the Atlantic Avenue water main which is not technically Atlantic Yards related. If the work is Atlantic Avenue-related the good news is that the loud nighttime work there will be over in two days to a week. Railyard work will continue at least until the opening of the Carlton Avenue Bridge.
Not all residents have had the luck or successful magical thinking of a resident of Vanderbilt Avenue last week: "I kept hearing a very loud buzzing vibration. Looked out the window to see sparks flying. I yelled: Really? Its past 11pm! And they actually stopped - but they will probably start up again soon."
The video below captures the sound of the hoe ram at 1:30 AM March 23rd. The ESDC has now stopped FCRC's use of the hoe ram at night.