Eglinton Crosstown LRT drilling noise due to 'hard ground,' Metrolinx says

Metrolinx is fielding complaints from residents near the Eglinton and Yonge area because of noise and vibrations from the 24-hour tunnelling for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Angry residents told patience is the only way to deal with 24-hour construction heard blocks away

Caroline Maunder tracks the tunnel work near her home. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

Caroline Maunder's baby is due in a matter of hours, but it's not labour pain she's worried about right now — it's the headaches she's been getting from nearby construction.

"The worst you hear it is at nighttime," said Maunder. She lives in a basement suite near the corner of Eglinton Avenue and Avenue Road, where crews are now boring tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, 24 hours a day.

"Everything's shaking ... the cupboard's shaking, the glass is shaking," she said of the nearly constant dull pounding from the tunnelling that rattles the plates in her kitchen, and has her toddler asking who's banging on the door at night. 

Maunder and her husband are upset they received no warning. And they're surprised the work and the noise are allowed to continue straight through the night.

"I don't know who made the decision, but it wasn't smart. They clearly don't have kids or don't live anywhere near the noise," she said. "I have to go through labour ... and I'm coming with a newborn back to this noise for an indefinite amount of time. It's quite daunting."

A spokesperson for Metrolinx said about a dozen people in that neighbourhood over the last two weeks told the company they're worried about the noise.

Anne Marie Aikins said these are the first noise complaints in a year since Metrolinx started digging from Black Creek Drive towards Yonge Street. And she thinks it's because the ground near Avenue Road is more compact — and noisier.

"It is a harder soil to get through, and it's probably because it's an older neighbourhood," she said. "It does cause more vibrations."

The areas drilled so far have been softer (and quieter) sand. Crews don't know what kind of soil they'll drill into ahead of time. Aikins said they didn't warn residents in this area because they didn't know it would be so loud.

"I do appreciate that this is disruptive and it's difficult to live with while the construction is going on. But a little bit of patience and this will be done soon," she said.

The 19-kilometre transit line is expected to be completed by 2020.

Metrolinx estimates that allowing breaks at night would extend the noisy construction for another two years. 

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