CBD construction overnight keeping neighbors awake

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 11:20 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Neighbors in the Central Business District say they can't get any sleep because of noisy construction in the middle of the night.

It's going on while crews work to transform an abandoned office building into a new apartment building in the 200 block of Baronne Street.

Neighbor Catherine Beckett got so fed up overnight Thursday, she grabbed her cell phone and snapped video.

The video shows multiple trucks pouring cement in the middle of the night, and you can plainly hear a loud noise as they do so.

On the video, Beckett’s voice can be heard saying, “It’s 1:45 in the morning.”

In the video, Beckett asked a worker if he knew about the noise ordinance, and he replied the company has a permit. When Beckett asked him about the permit, his answer, she says, sums it up.

“I can't hear you, the noise is too loud,” the worker replied.

“Exactly,” Beckett said in the video.

On Thursday evening, the construction continued.

“There is no quality of life, I've been up since yesterday,” said Beckett, a nursing student and retired NOPD officer.

Beckett said she first heard construction in the middle of the night in March. But when New Orleans police cited the contractor for working during prohibited hours on March 26, the noise, for the most part, stopped.

Until, Beckett said, last week.

“[It sounded like] war zone, I mean there were booms and screeches,” she said.

Perhaps what's most surprising is that the city is allowing crews to work on this project in the middle of the night.

This week, the city granted the contractor a special variance to the noise ordinance to allow construction to begin as early as 2 a.m. for the next three months.

“There was no warning, no anything," Beckett said. "It was just kind of like, here we are. It's kind of like being bullied. There's no recourse."

She said construction Thursday began at 1:30 a.m., which still violates the variance.

The contractor, Roy Anderson, said New Orleans heat and humidity makes pouring concrete impossible during the day.

“To the neighbors who are impacted by construction, I can only ask them to tolerate our operation in making their homes a better place to live," said project manager Max Ferran. “I would make myself personally available to discuss with them beforehand any tasks that will require atypical consideration in noise levels.”

But Beckett said, if early morning construction doesn't stop, she has just one option left.

“Follow my neighbors who have moved. There's really nothing else to do because everyone needs to have a good night sleep,” said Beckett

By law, construction has can only take place between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. in New Orleans. Unless, like in this case, the city grants a variance.

 

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