Brooklyn Bridge construction extended

Sleepless in Brooklyn: Residents say noisy Bridge construction has gone on for too long

NOISE FROM BELOW: Roberto Gautier looks down on the entrance ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge, where he says construction that has gone on for too long is keeping him awake at night.
The Brooklyn Paper
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It is a bridge below troubled nights’ sleep.

That is the complaint of residents living beside the Brooklyn Bridge on Cadman Plaza and in Concord Village, who say the city is taking way too long to get the job done, and killing them in the process.

“Noise is not something to sneeze at,” said Roberto Gautier, who lives on the 23rd floor of a Cadman Plaza West building that overlooks the bridge’s entrance. “It affects your health when you’re submitted to sleep deprivation.”

The Department of Transportation filed an extension for the project — which is repairing worn entrance and exit ramps, repaving the bridge, and painting of the entire 131-year-old span — that has taken four years so far and was originally scheduled to finish last month. The extension gives the agency until April 2015 to complete the work, but honchos at the road-making body say it will try to have most of it done by the end of this year. The city blames poor weather — especially this past winter — for the delays to the work that runs overnight or on the weekend to minimize traffic disruption, but neighbors the city has had plenty of time to finish the job.

Gautier claimed he has had his sleep disrupted for four years now and he tries to cancel out the construction noise with fans, but nothing seems to work.

“It’s become clear that this area is a vortex of traffic, noise, and pollution,” Gautier said.

A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said the agency is doing everything it can to help the situation, including buying new equipment, using smaller jackhammers, and covering work areas with sound-absorbing blankets every night. Sound levels are also measured every night there is construction and the noise produced doesn’t surpass legal limits, the rep said.

“The work remains in compliance with the DEP Noise Code and every effort has been made to provide the maximum protection from undesirable construction noise,” the spokesman said. “We continue to work closely with DEP to address noise concerns and look for additional opportunities to minimize the impact of this critical bridge rehabilitation project.”

But ruffled residents insist the agency worries more about keeping cars moving than people sleeping.

“The primary concern is traffic,” said Leslie Boyce, who lives in the same building as Gautier. “To hell with everyone else.”

The city admits that traffic is an important consideration, but said it is doing what it can to get these neighbors some rest.

“Work was shifted as much as possible to daytime hours on weekdays and weekends to expedite the project,” a transportation spokesman said. “But full closures of the bridge during daytime weekday hours would displace 100,000 vehicles onto Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn streets.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Roberto Gautier from Brooklyn Heights says:
Matthew Perlman's gargantuan journalistic assignment involved wrapping his head around an issue with a multitude of details. Obviously, the Brooklyn Bridge needs to be repaired. Too much of the nation's infrastructure has been neglected. That said, the Brooklyn Bridge project was allowed to start without any serious study of its impact on people. Only traffic flow studies were done. Since the Brooklyn Bridge Rehabilitation Project is not classified as "new construction," an Environmental Impact Statement was not mandated, even though thousands of people on both ends of the Bridge have and will continue to have their lives, health and sleep damaged for many months to come. As the Bridge gets "rehabilitated," nearby residents will require rehabilitation as well. Recall that the work began in June of 2010. The end date was to be April 2014. Word from the DOT's own Working Group place the end date into 2016.
To simply allow people to be subjected to damage demonstrates failed public policy. The noise mitigation plan is pitiful. To obtain of copy of that plan, one must file a request through the Freedom of Information Act. In effect, the Bridge project has ordered a de facto waiver of the protections of the NYC Noise Code at a location of intense traffic, noise and air pollution from the daily and nightly construction work, a 24/7 flow of vehicles on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the BQE, Cadman Plaza West and marine pollution wafting from the nearby port. From the air pollution standpoint, see the recent report on air quality by the American Lung Association which gives all of New York City an "F" grade. Plus, the New York City's own Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) documents a similar grim picture.

At 9/11, residents near the World Trade towers were given air purifiers and other compensation.
Residents near the new Tappan Zee Bridge's construction zone have been given sound-proof doors and windows. The state of New York set aside a $20 million fund for that purpose. New York City set aside nothing. Perhaps Assemblywoman Joan Millman, State Senator V. Montgomery, Congresswoman Velázquez and Councilman Steve Levin can provide some damage control for their constituents.

With visions of Mayor DeBlasio's "progressive" agenda, new ideas about compensation should be brought to the table. We'll see. And hear.
May 12, 2014, 7:57 am
Tom from Bklyn Hts says:
Who is this guy???? First, he's somehow able to get a story about his gripe, then jumps on the reporter.

THEN he compares this tiny little nothing with the tragedy at the World Trade Centers!

Oh, and the Tappan Zee bridge project where they are building a completly new bridge which will involve blasting, and which I'm sure he's never been near to form a comparison.

I'm sorry you can't sleep, but get a grip on reality!
May 12, 2014, 12:37 pm
Jamie from Flatbush says:
Go to Duane Reade. Buy a couple boxes of disposable ear plugs. Send DOT the bill.
May 12, 2014, 2:55 pm
Roberto Gautier from Brooklyn Heights says:
Matthew Perlman did a good job on this story. If he had more research time and space, I'm certain that he would have covered many more essential issues. There's nothing wrong with adding perspectives to the discussion because the goal is a better environment for all.

Jump of logic: Our situation is nothing like the tragic World Trade Center attack. A close family member worked right across from the Towers on that day and colleagues died on 9/11. The point: Air filters and noise protections are needed as a matter of course in NYC, including in areas that are not devastated on the level of 9/11.

Relatives live right near the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction site and I'm familiar with the mind-numbing pile driving for the project.
May 12, 2014, 3:04 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
You mean when they moved in, they didn't know they were next to an old bridge between two very busy and populous boroughs of a very large city? Did they mistake the Brooklyn Bridge for a bucolic willow tree on an unpaved cul-de-sac? Preposterous!
May 12, 2014, 3:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately, Concord Village consists of buildings that aren't known for being sound proof considering when they were built. Of course, many of you making the claims that they are just whinny cranks probably don't live anywhere nearby. I dare any of you to spend time there right now and you'll see why they are complaining about this. As usual, because of where they stand on that ladder, they're treated as if they don't matter.
May 12, 2014, 5:51 pm
jay from nyc says:
Its really easy for people to complain, and yet no one as far as I can tell is offering a solution to the problem. The bridge MUST be fixed otherwise we either a) lose the bridge and it is VITAL to NYC or b) a bunch of people get killed when it collapses and then we lose the bridge. It is a huge project that was YEARS over due, and only so much can be done about noise when dealing wiht projects this big. What you think a sandbox shovel can be used for something this size?
It seems to me that the city is doing a lot to try and help with that noise issue and yet the residents do little to nothing except complain. How about getting a pair of noise canceling headphone? They are under a hundred bucks and if you can afford to own a place in this area you can afford a pair of head phones. They work, get a pair and sleep well. That simple.
As another reader suggested if you are too cheap for that solution get a pair of ear plugs, you can get ones from the drugstore and hardware stores that reduce noise by 32 decibels for about 4 dollars.
This guy used fans and an air purifier, neither of which are designed for noise reduction/canceling/blocking. So we have a guy who has done zilch to help with the noise issue in his apartment, despite very inexpensive options to do so, and on the other hand the city who has spent alot of money trying to keep the noise down.
In light of that who is being more reasonable here and who is doing their part?
May 12, 2014, 7:23 pm
Rich Avvento from Nyc says:
It is now mid July 2015 and still not finished. Empire State building completed in 13 months.
July 12, 2015, 5:13 pm
Zack from Nyc says:
How about the skatepark under the bridge know as the famous Brooklyn banks
Jan. 28, 2016, 2:11 pm

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