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Complaints about extended hours work continue, and new sources of construction noise at night and on weekends may be on their way

Complaints about late night and after hours construction work continue to reach this website.  The video above, (which reached this site indirectly), was filmed at 1:30 am at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Bergen Street.

Complaints about permitted late night work on the project date back to the extended infrastructure work that took place on Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue in 2008 and caused substantial discomfort to many living in the vicinity.  The earliest illegal after hours work inside the footprint dates to the spring of 2007, only a short time after work on the project began.  

The sources of the complaints relate to an expanding list of types of work scheduled at night and on weekends.  The affected residential areas are dispersed throughout the perimeter of the 22 acre project site.

In the meantime, new potential sources of late night noise may soon be added.  The two week Construction Alert from last week discloses that if permits allow work may occur 24 hours a day on the arena block, and a supplemental Construction Alert released today gives notice additional work on the railyard will occur this coming Friday night and continue through Saturday and Sunday.  Late night infrastructure work on Atlantic Avenue, (described as technically not related to Atlantic Yards by NYCDEP), is now reaching Vanderbilt Avenue and will eventually continue to Carlton Avenue.

The mitigations for noise offered by Forest City Ratner to the affected community for the duration of the project's implementation and operation are double paned windows for street facing windows if they are not already in place, and an air conditioner for one street facing room per residence.  Double paned windows have been an industry standard since the 1970s so they are already in place in most residences.  The additional costs of operating an air conditioner as a fan in lieu of opening a window are born by the property owner or tenant.

The sources of work that have created recent complaints on this website are:

  • Late night utilization of the staging areas on block 1129.  An incident report states, "Construction seems to be going later and later at Vanderbilt and Dean, construction now not only goes all day but most of the night as well! Building was heard at midnight and as I type I am typing to the sounds of trucks backing up at 1042pm!"
  • Weekend work on the railyard.
  • Garbage removal in the vicinity of Carlton Avenue between Dean and Bergen Streets.  One of several reports states, "This is an ongoing problem, 4 or 5 nights a week between 3:30 and 5:00 a.m. generally a company called Action Environmental comes by to empty the dumpster with loud beeping, engines running, dumpsters clanking etc.   . . .Repeated lack of sleep for me and my 6 month old is a health risk especially as its an ongoing occurence with no forseeable end in sight."
  • On YouTube 3 videos show late night infrastructure work on 5th Avenue.  The person posting the videos writes:  "This construction is going on til 3AM all week on 5th Ave below Atlantic. Had to move in with a friend because the noise made sleep impossible -- the apartment was literally vibrating. Apparently they have a night permit to lay gas pipe for the Nets stadium. Because slowing traffic during the day would be worse than forcing people out of their homes at night?"

Normal work hours at the site are from 7 am to 3:30 pm.  The FEIS and the Amended Environmental Commitments Memo detail circumstances in which extended hours will occur, however in some circumstances, (for example the potential third shift on the arena block), city agencies have the power to withhold permission. 

Work on the railyard has now been extended from 6 am to 4:30 pm weekdays and Saturdays from 7 am to 5:30 pm for a period originally described in May as lasting at least 3 months.  

Work on the arena now takes place in two shifts, (with more work occurring during regular work hours) from 7 am to 11 pm.  The most recent Construction Alert states that subject to permit approval, a third shift may be instituted from 11 pm to 7 am, creating an uninterrupted 24 hour work schedule.

Late night and weekend use of the construction staging area on block 1129 is ongoing.

Transit repairs/improvements have taken place at night, much of it on Flatbush.  

Construction of certain elements of the Sam Schwartz traffic mitigation plan near Pacific Street take place at night.