Not Long Ago Residents Were Forced To Deal With Nightly Department Of Defense Training Exercises

TOTOWA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Here we go again.

The same New Jersey neighborhood that was subjected to nightly military flyovers in April is now being jarred by daily explosions at a nearby construction site.

While some people say the blasts are unnerving, others say it’s just the price of progress, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Thursday.

“All of the sudden you hear a big explosion and you think somebody was throwing a bomb, maybe,” resident Kathy Pizzichetta said.

“I thought a tree came down, it was so loud. It actually shakes the house,” a resident named “Al” added.

“We didn’t know. We didn’t know what the hell it was,” Larry Pizzichetta said.

North Jersey Developmental Center (Photo: CBS2)

For the past month, residents in Totowa say they’ve felt like they’re living in the middle of a violent video game.

Every day around noon, what feels like a seven-second earthquake rumbles through the neighborhood near Knox Terrace and Artillery Park Road.

The source of the seismic shake is a nearby construction site, the former home of the North Jersey Developmental Center. Crews are removing 450,000 yards of material in preparation for the building of a huge commercial complex that will include a computer center, medical facilities and senior housing, CBS2’s Moore reported.

“It’s like a big ‘boom,’ like an explosion. And you can see that she shakes constantly,” Kathy Pizzichetta said, clutching her small dog. “This goes on three, four, fives times a day sometimes, and it’s like the end of fireworks.”

But blasting through bedrock is no easy task. And with shaking dogs and shaking foundations, many people wonder is it safe?

“I have a built-in pool and I told my pool guy, ‘Check for cracks, check the lining,’ and he said everything’s fine,” Al said.

The Department of Labor, which is overseeing the project, told CBS2’s Moore the construction is “absolutely safe,” and at least one resident has a device to prove it.

“I have a meter in my yard that measures the noise and rumbling, and so far they’re within the state limits, what I’m told from the geologists,” Al said.

“What are you going to do? You can’t stop progress,” Larry Pizzichetta added.

But with at least another month of daily blasts to go, most people here said they’ll be happy when progress is achieved.

The Department of Labor said any residents with questions or concerns should contact its office.