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Bayonne Bridge Upgrade Rattles Windows, Nerves of Nearby Residents

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TWC News: Bayonne Bridge Upgrade Rattles Windows, Nerves of Nearby Residents
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Some Staten Island residents say they don't know if they'll be able to deal with three more years of noise and construction on the Bayonne Bridge and are hoping the Port Authority will be able to remedy some of the issues. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.

From a distance you might not even know work to raise the Bayonne Bridge is under way. But ask the people who live nearby in Elm Park and they'll tell you what it's really like.

"The noise is really unbelievable; I mean, they're always working," said one resident.

"Now if you can hear it, the noise, many times since they start early in the morning, it's uncomfortable trying to sleep," said another resident.


The Port Authority has real-time noise monitors in place to ensure city limits are followed.
But some say it's not good enough.

"I've heard my house shaking in the middle of the night, my windows rattling," said Deyanira Gomez, an Elm Park homeowner.

Gomez says the rattling recently caused one of her windows to crack. She and other homeowners received a letter offering up to $10,000 towards soundproof windows. It also offers hotel stays for when the noise is at its worst, and vouchers and payments for other construction-related issues.

"I think that there's something I should be worried about. If they're offering money for my windows," Gomez said.

While many describe the noise as a nuisance, some also have fears about their health. A lawsuit has already been filed over environmental concerns.

"The property has asbestos, arsenic. It has lead, it has PCBs. But they didn't tell us exactly where those contaminants are and they didn't tell us how they plan on cleaning up those contaminants," said North Shore Waterfront Conservancy Executive Director Beryl Thurman.

The Conservancy is now suing the Port Authority. Thurman believes the agency needs to do a better job communicating with residents.

"When you have a project that is this large and it's taking up this much space and disrupting peoples lives in the way that it is, you better get used to dealing with people real fast," she said.

The Port Authority says the project is in accordance with all federal and state regulations to ensure people's safety.

Meantime, residents can call 855-265-5482 to give their feedback with the project not expected to wrap up until mid 2017.

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