Neighbors voice concern over recent noise surrounding Hawthorne Lane bridge construction

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Construction crews have been working to extend the CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar in the city of Charlotte.

The project will extend the current 1.5-mile streetcar line by 2.5 miles to Johnson C. Smith University and Sunnyside Avenue.

Part of the project involves replacing the Hawthorne Lane bridge that runs over Independence Boulevard. Neighbors living in the area say that construction has recently gotten extra noisy. They say the construction has been creating a series of loud and repetitive bangs.

Ashe Lockhart, president of the Hawthorne Court Homeowner's Association, sent a note about the loud construction to some members of the Charlotte City Council.

"It's a loud, deafeningly loud, ear ringing loud, sound. It's not just a sound. You can feel it in your chest. There is a percussion to it," described Lockhart.

Lockhart said the noise sent him over the edge Sunday when he heard the banging before noon.

"This is just on a different level. This is like living in the presence of artillery. It's almost a war-like sound," said Lockhart.

Other neighbors have also taken issue with the noise.

"Wake up in the morning and its bang, bang, bang. Bang and all kinds of stuff like that," described Hawthorne Lane resident Allen Ballweg.

Holly Vaezi said she works from home in the Hawthorne Court community so she is constantly hearing the construction.

"I hear everything. I feel everything too which is becoming more of a concern than anything else," said Vaezi.

Juliann Sheldon, Public & Community Relations Specialist for Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), told WBTV the recent loud banging that neighbors have been hearing is coming from the crews driving pile for reconstruction of the new center pier in the median of Independence Boulevard. Sheldon said the work is too loud to be done overnight so crews have been working during the daytime. She said the work can be done during the weekdays or weekends.

Sheldon also sent WBTV the following statement regarding the work.

"We sincerely understand how impactful construction can be as we work to enhance Charlotte's infrastructure. Like we can see across the region, there is progress nearly everywhere. We continue to work with the Elizabeth Community Association to effectively communicate all impacts to the neighbors."

Lockhart is asking that the noisy work not be done during weekend mornings. He said he welcomes the construction and development, but would like limitations on when the work can be done.

"This is in the great scheme of things a relatively minor problem with an otherwise fantastic project," said Lockhart.

He said the neighbors get periodic updates on what type of construction is being done. He said he has yet to hear back from any city leaders regarding his complaint about the construction noise.

The Hawthorne Lane bridge is not scheduled to be replaced until March of 2019.

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