Employees and commuters in downtown Ottawa are complaining of excessive, almost painful noise levels at the site of the Rideau Centre construction.

The major $360 million renovation is now underway on Rideau Street near Nicholas Street and is expected to be completed in 2016. The four-level expansion will add parking and retail space, along with two direct light rail transit access points.

"Terrible, it's painful," said shopper Susan Parisien of the construction noise. "I don't know how they can do this day in and day out."

Rideau Centre construction noise 3 (Oct. 21, 2013).

Contractors have put up signs warning of dangerous noise levels at the site of the Rideau Centre expansion. (CBC)

With workers drilling into rock, the construction company- PCL- has put up signs warning passers-by of dangerous noise levels.

"It is unconscionable noise, they warn you, but there's nothing you can do about it," said a man walking by on Rideau Street shouting and covering his ears.

Without proper sound barriers at the site of the construction, some workers in the area are concerned about the noise affecting their health.

Bylaw official expected to check noise levels

"The vibration is really awful," said Seema Rampersad who works nearby. "On Friday I had headaches."

"I would presume there is a city bylaw governing how much noise a construction site can make you would think," said another passer-by.

While some in the area are questioning why bylaw officials have not stepped in, the City says it has not received any official complaints.

A bylaw official is expected to check the noise levels this week.