Some residents living at an apartment building on Bronson Avenue say overnight excavation of the light rail tunnel near their home is creating noise and vibration that's impossible to sleep through.
Contractors digging the tunnel underneath Ottawa's downtown are using large excavators called roadheaders to chew through shale and limestone underground.
The city has granted the LRT excavation work an exemption from the overnight noise bylaw as long as the work is being performed three metres below the surface.
They began the work on the west end of the tunnel south of Commissioner Street but are now close to Bronson and Queen.
'It's like sleeping beside a jet plane, basically.'- Valentin Chiraca
Valentin Chiraca, who lives at the Juliana building at 100 Bronson Ave., says the vibrations and noise are travelling up into his second-floor apartment.
"It's like sleeping beside a jet plane, basically. It's like you're sleeping in an airplane beside the tarmac," said Chiraca.
He said he's bought ear plugs and a noise cancellation headset since the noise began two weeks ago but said they haven't helped.
"We are getting three to four hours of sleep... we can't live in these conditions," he said.
Mariano Velasco, who lives on the third floor of the Juliana, said he's also getting about three hours of sleep a night.
Coun. Holmes to meet with residents
"It's almost like that feeling in an airport. Like the shaking, it starts at about 8 p.m. and goes until about 8 a.m.," said Velasco.
Chiraca, Velasco and other residents of the building's west side say they hear and feel the vibrations more than residents on the building's east side.
Some residents have taken crude noise readings and say the nighttime vibration can reach up to 85 decibels, or about as loud as city traffic as heard from inside a car.
The city did not respond Monday to a request for comment.
Area Coun. Diane Holmes said she has had difficulty getting answers from the crews doing the work. She said she wants to know how many metres they have dug down and how much longer it will be until they're out from under the Juliana. She said she also plans to meet with residents and wants to get accurate readings of just how loud the noise is.
In the meantime, Chiraca is periodically spending a night in a hotel to recharge and get some sleep.