What it’s like living with non-stop construction noise

The repetitive mechanical noise never stops.

On Monday, around-the-clock drilling began at the corner of Ridout and Fullerton Streets to accommodate new sewers and pipes installed as part of London’s new rapid transit system.

CTV News London asked some neighbours what it’s like living next to 24 hour-a-day construction noise.

“I find it really noisy at night, it doesn’t allow me to keep my windows open,” said Maureen Johnson, whose balcony overlooks the construction.

Arash Torabi said his side of the building is less affected, “With our balconies, if you close it at night, it’s really not that bad at all.”

The city says around-the-clock construction is rare and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In this case, it’s a technical requirement for a process called “micro-tunnelling” that’s underway beneath a 200 metre stretch of Ridout Street. Micro-tunnelling avoids the need to dig trenches by gradually advancing the tunnel supports a short distance at a time.

According to city hall, noise mitigating equipment has been installed to inhibit sounds at ground level, and vibration monitoring tools will ensure neighbouring buildings are not damaged.

Jennie Dann, director of construction and infrastructure told CTV News in a statement, “24-hour work is only considered in special cases, where there is very complex technical work that needs to happen in a short period of time, or where it will greatly minimize the social impacts.”

Neighbours are taking it in stride, hoping longer hours now will see the project finished sooner.

“It’s not pleasant,” said Bernice Langlois. “But it’s what we know has to be — this is infrastructure that’s necessary.”

“I’m hoping the project will go quickly because it’s going 24 hours a day,” added Maureen Johnstone.

Construction is expected to return to regular daytime hours after about two weeks of drilling. 

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