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I-66 widening construction noise irks neighbors

Monday - 5/5/2014, 7:35am  ET

I-66 (WTOP File)
Neighbors near the I-66 construction are coping with loud noises that keep them up at night. (WTOP File)

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GAINESVILLE, Va. -- Work got started on the widening of Interstate 66 last month and some residents are losing sleep over the construction -- literally.

For the most part, commuters during the morning and evening rush hours are not being impacted by the construction, but many people say the noise is keeping them awake at night.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says most of the work on the project to widen a three-mile stretch of I-66 between Route 29 in Gainesville to Route 15 in Haymarket will take place overnight. That's a problem for some residents whose homes back up to I-66, such as Catherine Calvin and some of her neighbors.

She says they are trying to catch up on lost sleep before VDOT crews return to begin overnight work behind their houses.

"Not sleeping for four nights, I would consider more than a minor inconvenience," Calvin says.

She says her neighbors "are cranky as all get out."

Nearly two weeks ago, VDOT crews began overnight road construction work including milling, which uses jackhammers to remove old road surfaces. She says it went on for four nights.

"It ran each night from sometime after 8:30 with diesels and voices and then milling started around 11 p.m.," says Calvin.

Calvin says one neighbor has it even worse.

"[V-DOT workers] were so close to his window that he could actually hear the voices yelling over the machinery," Calvin says of her neighbor.

Residents got a reprieve from the noise last week due, in part, to the rain. But the milling and paving could take another six weeks.

VDOT has scheduled a meeting with the community for Thursday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Haymarket Town Hall located at 15000 Washington Street in Haymarket.

The entire widening project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016 and is expected to cost $73.5 million.

For more information you can call VDOT at 800-367-ROAD (7623).

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