3rd Street Tunnel Project Jack Hammering through 3am


“Dear PoPville,

We live in Chinatown near 4th and Mass and recently received notice from the 3rd Street Tunnel Project that night work would begin occasionally starting May 27th and through the end of the 14 month project.

Last night we were woken up by jack hammering at the corner of 4th and Mass in a heavily residential corner at 12:45 AM and were awake through at least 3 AM with amazingly loud noise. We were told by the police and the construction crew, that as long as they have a permit that there is nothing we can do. Is that true? Please help, I can’t spend 14 months not sleeping!!!”

40 Comment

  • That sucks, but what’s the alternative?

  • No rest for the wicked.

  • Looks like finding an alternative or solution is the purpose of the post…hopefully others can be more helpful!

    • Well, the work is going to happen so OP will either have to live with it or move. Not sure what “alternatives” there are. Earplugs? Sleeping pills? “Sounds of the Rainforest” at full blast?

  • 4th & Mass is a “heavily residential” corner?

  • Not much. We live next to the 1st st tunnel project and they have a 24 hour work permit. The pile drivers went on for a month.

  • Do they have a permit to work 24/7? Are they exceeding noise regulations? Otherwise, your option is to go to your ANC and Councilmember and work with them on mitigation measures.

  • I’m glad I moved out of this neighborhood. Constant construction, large amounts of homeless, and snooty 20-somethings. There aren’t any good restaurants or bars either.

  • houseintherear

    Have you contacted your ANC person or Councilmember? An ANC rep can be surprisingly helpful, sometimes. The crews might have noise restrictions that they are not adhering to and the neighborhood/area elected peeps would have access to those permits and relevant info. I hope it gets better!

    • They get the permits until some one complains and then they have to stop. Check with DCRA and your ANC person.

  • Earplugs?

    At least that means the project will get done (i’m assuming) quicker and you won’t be living in the middle of construction as long?

    • Yes to earplugs. I’ve been using them for as long as I’ve lived in this city.

    • Also white noise machines. I have a Marpac Dohm-DS, and it’s amazing. There was jackhammering outside my bedroom window the other night, but I couldn’t hear it at all with the white noise machine on.

  • My heart goes out to all those people that didn’t sleep. I had a similar situation nearby when 460 NY Avenue (the new Bozzuto building) did middle of the night construction and had filed a 2 month night work permit. I first called the DC Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to see if it was a valid night permit- it was, but I was told that if residents complain, it invalidates the night work permit. Then I contacted my ANC Commissioner Rachelle Nigro who was fantastic- she got very involved and the night work stopped and the VP of the company tweeted an apology to my neighborhood. Hope this helps; you should not have to worry about your sleep for the next 14 months.

    • The city may be happy to stop private contractors, but as folks living near the NY Ave bridge repair, that’s not true of city work. In fairness, the alternative is shutting down commutes while they do day work.

  • Ear plugs, noise canceling headphones. This is what you have to deal with sometimes when you live in the heart of a big city.

  • According to their website (http://3rdsttunnel.com/faq/:
    What will the project working hours be? 

    Construction activities will occur Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Additional hours and Saturday work will be scheduled as needed.

    Does anyone know if F Street will reopen through Georgetown Law? They closed the street about 6-7 years ago and made it into a green space. But I remember hearing once that the city retained some sort of easement or the right to reopen the street. Any ideas?

    • The city does maintain an easement for emergency vehicles, I remember talking to one of the georgetown planners about how they had to put extra support under the green space just in case someone had to drive over it.

      I think georgetown has a long term lease on the space and there is an agreement that if the city ever decides to bridge F street over I-395, then they’ll re-open negotiations, but I don’t think that’s part of this project.

      • chai, I believe that you’re wrong. I can’t remember if it would reconnect for foot traffic only, but they do plan on reconnecting. Here’s an excerpt from their site:
        “Washington has encouraged the development of a platform over I-395 since the initial approval in 1990, with the expectation that it would re-connect F and G Streets between Second and Third Streets as originally conceived in L’Enfant’s master plan for the city. Restoring the site to grade level and filling in the highway overpass will result in a dramatic transformation of the area into a true destination.”

        • I probably am. My impression was that the development was connecting everything as a pedestrian area only and that motorized traffic would keep using the E street as a throughway, but I’ll admit to not reading the plans all that carefully.

          If they are reconnecting everything, that’ll make it really interesting. The way georgetown’s campus is set up would make a road a tight fit.

    • As a current student at the law school, we were told that F street (and potentially G as well) will connect 3rd to 2nd street, but NOT to 1st. That is, they will not connect across the law school campus, the “green space” will remain.

      No idea if that’s true indefinitely, but it is the case for right now, as seen on the maps on the capital crossing project website.

  • brookland_rez

    That’s the price of progress, unfortunately. Earplugs?

  • First, exhaust your administrative remedies (pulling their permits from the DCRA site to be sure they’re permitted to do construction during the hours in question, and calling the Illegal Construction hotline if they don’t; if they have a permit, if that fails (2) try complaining to your ANC, developers tend to want to stay on the good side of ANCs) , if that fails, (3) complain to your councilmember about changing the law so that there is a noise limit for construction after a certain hour (midnight seems fair)

    If all that fails (4) buy earplugs and a white noise machine (on sale at Brookstone). Best $100 bucks you can spend in the city (on the latter), should drown out most noise from outside your building.

  • +1 on contacting the ANC rep, who I believe is (very helpful) Rachelle Nigro. Also join the “MVSNA – Mount Vernon Square Neighbohood Association” Facebook group, where others are expressing the same concerns. Rachelle seems to watch this space for feedback.

  • This is all for the Capital Crossing project which is a series of new buildings and streets being built over top of I395. One of the buildings is the site where Eataly will be going so this will definitely wake up the area if you think it’s lacking in retail. My partner works for DCRA and yep, the permits are valid for night work. My suggestion is buy some ear plugs and a white noise machine. Complaining to the city services and creating a lot of busy work for your ANC and Council member is just wasting our tax dollars and time. This project is a great one and it needs to be completed. Backup suggestion: move to the burbs. DC is a city. Noise is a factor of life. You either love it or move on.

    • so sick of the “move to the burbs” comment. it’s not constructive and very condescending.

      • Seriously. I totally agree

      • Agreed. There’s a pretty big difference between “people are out till 2 am and sometimes they yell while walking down the street, man the city is loud” and full-on heavy machinery construction all night.

    • Logan res, huge difference between city noise and jack hammering that feels like its in bed with you, I’ve lived here for 6 years and have never had an issue, why don’t you get off your high horse for a second

  • Yeah, and I have a barking dog on my street that goes all night. Part of living in a city.

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