The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections is holding a public meeting on Thursday, August 1, 5:30p to 7:30p at the Queen City Yacht Club to hear comments about WSDOT’s 3-year nighttime construction noise variance for the SR520/I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project, to allow construction work during night time hours to exceed the sound levels contained in the Seattle Municipal Code.
If the loud construction noise from SR520 Montlake phase work done at 1 a.m. on Thursday, July 25, is any indication of what is to come – we must have a good turnout for tonight’s public meeting. The Montlake phase excavation work on July 25 disrupted hundreds of residents. The obvious question is what other portions of this project are planned for such excavation — because they are getting a noise variance permit to do it? The noise reportedly sounded like a helicopter hovering directly over homes, traveled on the ridge line along 10th Ave East down to the water from Shelby to Roanoke. The hill on the west side of Portage Bay forms a natural amphitheater that amplifies noise for everyone living the bay. The noise last Thursday showed that WSDOT has no idea how sound travels, asking their contractor’s PR firm to simply document complaints vs. acting on them.
Several well-documented letters have been submitted in opposition to the noise variance application. Approval would allow nighttime construction work — using compressors at a low of 71 dBA to vibratory pile installers at up to 84 dBA – all at the edge of the right of way for 3 years, 7 days a week. This does not include six years of construction to replace the Portage Bay Bridge… so WSDOT’s night-time noise variance is in reality over nine years.