Work on the transit megaproject to connect the Long Island Rail Road to East Midtown runs through neighborhoods in Queens where residents cannot wait for the construction to end. However, residents and local leaders say their long-running calls for help in blocking out the noise are not getting the MTA's attention. NY1 Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has that story.
The work on one of the nation's largest transportation projects has proceeded largely out of sight in Manhattan, deep beneath Grand Central Terminal.
"People in the Grand Central were sipping a glass of wine and without ever knowing that we were there," said President of MTA Capital Construction Michael Horodniceanu.
But, in parts of Queens, the construction of the East Side Access is in full view for some with the volume turned up.
"There's banging at night, there's whistles at night," said Regina Shanley who lives near the site in Sunnyside. "You cannot carry on a conversation, you can't watch TV, it's hard to put a kid to sleep because it stops and starts."
On Tuesday, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and residents living near the massive Queens East Side Access site called a news conference. They demanded the MTA install sound barriers to block noise from the $10 billion dollar project, which eventually will bring Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central.
"We're demanding that they do the right thing once and for all by this community," Van Bramer said.
Van Bramer said the MTA pledged to install the barriers nearly a decade ago. The MTA says that's hogwash. The transit agency says it hired engineering consultants nine years ago who concluded the proposal was a non-starter, the same result as an earlier study.
The MTA says that any physical barrier would have limited effect when it comes to reducing noise and that it would also serve as a magnet for graffiti.
Residents say they will keep pushing for anything to block out the noise from construction.
"I live about 200 feet directly behind the tracks and I can't keep my windows open at night, haven't been able to do so for the past couple of years," said Steve Cooper.
"There's a rattling that goes on in this community," said Leonard Grossman. "You get used to it, but when you listen, it's mind-blowing, it's terrible."
But the noise isn't going anywhere any time soon. Work on the East Side Access is expected to last at least six more years.