Some residents of a neighborhood in the southern part of town say they are fed up with overnight noise stemming from the construction of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
The worksite is more than three miles from the Sandhill Estates neighborhood, but people living there are being directly affected by the excavation phase of the hospital project.
“This is where they’re dumping all the dirt,” said Tim Kasperek, who lives at 1001 Langenberg Ave., a few hundred yards from the site. “They go all night and we can’t sleep.”
Kasperek, his wife and two young children have lived in their house for seven years with few issues, he said.
“When it starts affecting your kids it becomes a real problem,” he said.
The dirt is being used to fill an old quarry on land owned by S & G Materials, Kasperek said. An outside contractor has been brought in to do the work, but they’re not moving dirt during the day in an effort to reduce traffic at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, he said.
University officials said last night in an email that it is necessary to do the work at night to keep the project on schedule. The excavation phase of the project will continue until August, officials said.
“The neighborhood is indeed in Iowa City,” said Rick Fosse, Iowa City public works director. “But the area where they’re dumping is in (Johnson County).”
The city of Iowa City has a noise ordinance, but no such policy exists in the county, according to Andy Johnson, executive assistant to the Board of Supervisors.
“This is something that is on our radar,” said board chairwoman Janelle Rettig. “But we’re not sure how to craft a sound ordinance because it’s really hard to enforce on a business, a lot of them work 24 hours.”
A call seeking comment from S & G Materials was not returned Thursday.
“You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of cannons going off from the tailgates banging,” said Josh Weber, who also lives on Langenberg Avenue. “It’s really starting to take its toll on my mental health.”