NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From updated roads to new bridges, New York is in the middle of a $100-billion facelift.
While we need the infrastructure upgrades, some residents who live next door to these projects say their property is being damaged in the process.
“Boom, boom, boom,” Marie Wausnock said, “It’s like a war zone some days here.”
Wausnock — a Staten Island resident — lives just a block away from the Bayonne Bridge renovation where she says dust and vibrations from the constant construction have caused damaged to homes.
“Some people have cracks in their foundation, broken doors,” she said.
“It’s been tough for everybody here,” Ben Geremia acknowledged.
Geremia lives on Calamus Avenue in Maspeth where a massive sewer and water main replacement has been underway. He said residents on his street have been having problems.
“Damage to their stoops, walks, sidewalks,” he said.
Assemblyman Brian Barnwell said he wants homeowners reimbursed, but told CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer that it’s been impossible to get the city or the contractor CAC Industries to take responsibility for property damage.
“When you try and talk to the individuals involved with, who to file a claim with, they’re going like this,” he said pointing in different directions.
In Wausnock’s neighborhood where the Port Authority is in charge of the project, the residents on the other side of her block were offered a $5,000 compensation package for sound proof windows and new air conditioning.
“I live 25 feet away, across the street from houses that are being compensated, and property behind us is being compensated, and we’re in the middle and they just cut us out,” she said.
After CBS2 got involved and demanded answers, the Port Authority finally agreed to compensate Wausnock’s side of the street.
“You cannot simply throw up your hands and think that you don’t have to answer the homeowner whose life savings is very often wrapped up in that home,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said.
Stringer said Calamus Avenue residents have had to wait way too long for a resolution.
CBS2’s Kramer went to ask the mayor about the hold up.
“That contractor, by law, is supposed to make the property owner whole,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Calamus Ave residents did recently receive property damage claim forms from the city, and the mayor is promising to speed up the payment process.
“It’s not fair for the innocent party to suffer, and not get that reimbursement quickly,” he said.
The contractor said with this type of work, more often than not, damages happen, but they’re always fixed.
If a city project is starting near you, experts suggest taking time stamped photos of your property before the work starts and alerting your insurance carrier about it.