Cary residents blame road construction for sleepless nights
Posted June 29, 2011 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated June 29, 2011 10:05 p.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — Residents of a Cary neighborhood say construction on an extension of N.C. Highway 540 between N.C. Highway 55 and Green Level Church Road is keeping them up at night.
"We're hearing everything from general truck noise to trucks that only seem to know how to go in reverse – that persistent 'beep, beep, beep," Kristin Lamendola, a resident of the town's Highcroft community, said Wednesday.
From her back yard, through the trees, she has a front-row seat to crews building and paving N.C. 540.
In the daytime hours, she said, the construction isn't a problem. For months, though, the work's been happening in the middle of the night, several nights a week.
"They beep at 11:30 p.m., they beep at 3:30 in the morning," she said.
Between the beeps, she said, there are loud booms from workers laying concrete.
"When they are paving, specifically behind the house, it's continuous, and it's deafening," Lamendola said.
It's affecting her sleep, which affects her work, she said, and it's also affecting her children's performance at school.
Lamendola and her neighbors have repeatedly asked the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, which is in charge of the project, to stop work when families are trying to sleep.
But the project's chief engineer, Steve Dewitt, said that's not an option.
"When we get temperatures in the high 80s or 90s, we simply can't pave concrete during the day. So we have to do it at night," Dewitt said.
The Turnpike Authority has tried to minimize the noise as much as possible, but daytime paving when it's extremely hot affects the quality of the concrete, he said, and waiting to pave during the fall would delay the project and cost more money.
Neighbors in Highcroft say there are other costs, too.
"What's the cost of completely degrading the quality of life that myself, my family and my neighbors have been experiencing?" Lamendola said. "It never enters into their equation, and it's sad that a state agency is doing this to their own citizenry."
Dewitt said that trucks have been re-routed and one extremely loud piece of equipment has been removed. He said nothing can be done about the beeping noise since that is a safety measure required by law on construction vehicles going in reverse.
Officials hope to finish construction on that particular area within five days. The entire project is expected to be completed by December 2012.