Overnight construction keeping Raleigh residents awake

August 2, 2008 8:33:02 AM PDT
Growth in downtown Raleigh is an issue some people are literally losing sleep over.

After attracting residents downtown, those residents are angry and say city construction projects are robbing them of their sleep.

Since Wednesday, a pipeline crew has been working to fix the sewer system on West Martin Street.

They work day and night -- much to the chagrin of condo residents in that block.

"I've lost about, at least about 25 percent of my sleeping hours to it," resident Gary Chan said.

Chan is one of several residents who are complaining about construction and the noise that accompanied it past midnight Thursday.

At least one woman called police and says they p planned to enforce the noise ordinance until they found out it's a city project with an exemption.

"They need to at least like find a place or time that people are less likely to be around," Chan said. "Like in the daytime it's OK, but at nighttime it's just not suitable."

Business owners complain when the city streets are torn up during the day and customers and deliveries can't reach them.

In the past, that wasn't a problem because few people lived downtown. But a recent building boom has put thousands of new residents downtown and the strain on the sewer system means more construction projects like the current one are on the way.

"We've got to find a way to accommodate both groups, both the businesses as well as the residential customers," Dale Crisp, Raleigh Public Utilities, said.

Crisp admits the city in on a learning curve. He's trying to figure out the balancing act and he knows in the meantime the complaints may grow.

Chan is glad his sleepless nights are over but he knows others may soon feel the same pain. "I pity whoever's next after me."

The city has not shortened the workday for crews because they say that means contracts would have spent more time setting up and tearing down rather than working. And that hurts all water and sewer customers because of increased costs.


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