The pounding sound of construction in Calgary's southwest Mission district is making it impossible to relax on the weekend, upset neighbours say.
Crews spent all day Saturday and Sunday driving piles for the foundation of a condo development on 21st Avenue SW.
"It's frustrating because the city is allowing them to do this. I understand that there has to be progress and there has to be building and construction but not on weekends. Give us a break," said Scott London who lives in an apartment across the street from the site.
"Let us have a few days of rest so that we can recoup and get back to work."
London, who usually works nights as a sommelier, said his building was shaking during the loud weekend construction.
Kiyoshi Takasugi said he could hear the pounding pile-driving work inside his hair salon where he fears the noise is driving customers away.
Calgary noise bylaws allow construction between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday and holidays.
Bill Bruce, Calgary's director of bylaw services, said the contractor needed to close one lane of traffic for the pile-driving, which the city would only allow on the weekend.
He said the pile-driving likely exceeded the city's noise bylaw, but because the piercing sounds came in short bursts, the noise measurements are averaged out over an hour.
Brad Regier, a spokesman for condo developer Clark Builders, said another 70 piles still need to be driven, but said the company hoped to avoid more work on the weekend.
Noise complaints on the rise
According to Bruce, about 2,200 people called his office with noise complaints last year — most of them related to construction — an increase of 15 per cent from 2006.
But Bruce said city council has looked at expanding quiet hours on Saturdays before: "It wasn't supported and that came through loud and clear that people felt we are a big city now and on Saturdays, treat it more like an average weekday."
He said there are currently no plans to look at changing when construction crews can work.
Ward 8 Ald. John Mar said it might be time to revisit the bylaw. He said he's not as worried about one-time situations — where a neighbour starts fixing a garage door too early on a Sunday morning, for instance — as he is about big projects that could take two to three years to complete.
"It's about good neighbour policy and it's about being courteous to the people that are already there and are going to be your neighbours," Mar said.
"So really, it's in your best interest to be as forthcoming and as considerate as you possibly can when dealing with these construction time frames."