CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Loud construction noise is pitting sleep-deprived residents against merchants in a Westchester County community.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported exclusively Thursday, residents in Chappaqua agree that the infrastructure work needs to be done. But some say it is happening in the wee hours of the morning and keeping them awake.
Imagine hearing the sound of jackhammers, and the beeps of construction equipment being driven in reverse, all night long outside your house while you’re trying to sleep.
“It was just very loud and it was constant and I kept waiting for to stop, and it just didn’t,” said Sarah Shapiro of Chappaqua.
Shapiro and her family live on Smith Street in Chappaqua, right by a major infrastructure project. She said the new nighttime construction work on water and sewer mains is keeping her family awake until 5 a.m.
“Overnight construction is cruel and unusual, and I don’t think anyone should be subjected to it,” Shapiro said.
But New Castle Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein said: “We have to do this work at night. There’s no way around it.”
Greenstein said South Greeley Avenue – the only street through downtown – has to be shut down completely for hours at a time. He said that would cripple local merchants during the day.
“Everybody’s going to be inconvenienced, and of course, some people are going to be inconvenienced more than others,” Greenstein said. “That’s unfortunate.”
Daytime construction is already causing traffic backups and hurting local stores.
“Customers are shying away from town during the hours that they’re working because it just takes too long to get through town,” said Chappaqua store owner Barry Mishkin.
Most residents who spoke to CBS2 support the $11.6 million, 18-month project that will eventually include new sidewalk beautification, but admit that it is painful for everyone.
“Sometimes it can get ridiculously loud with the drilling,” said John Grimes of Chappaqua.
“You have to go through the bad to get to the good,” said Chappaqua resident Barbara Jenkel.
Town officials said they are trying to move a dump site at the end of Smith Street further away from the homes there to reduce noise at night. But they also say the night work is scheduled to last six to seven months – creating a nightmare for Shapiro and her kids.
“If I hear that ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ again, I feel like I’m going to pull my hair out,” she said.
And she said her family may have to move out temporarily.
Construction managers told CBS2 the current daytime work in downtown Chappaqua should be complete in about five weeks. After that, crews will mostly work from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.