“What to do about noisy metal plates over road construction?”

by Prince Of Petworth April 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm 16 Comments

loud mad
Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

I live off Kansas and Missouri Ave in N. Petworth/Brightwood Park, and have a unique issue.

Last Saturday, construction workers came super early (not the issue, but annoying) and jackhammered a big hole in the street, presumably to access underground infrastructure. At the end of the day, they laid down those big thick metal plates you often see used to cover such sites. They haven’t been back since then, but I assume they’ll be back tomorrow since it seems Saturdays are the preferred work day for this site.

Over the course of the week, one of the metal plates loosened to the point that every time a car passes over it, it makes two loud bangs – one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. When a large vehicle (bus, trash truck) passes, it actually causes the ground/house to vibrate, and this is accompanied by a much larger “BOOM.” Missouri Ave. is a pretty major cross-city street with a lot of traffic, so the bangs can be as frequently as every second or two, depending on time of day.

My house is pretty close to the construction site, and the banging is slowly driving me crazy.

My cat won’t even sit in the open window anymore (normally a given) because it’s so annoying. The window, for that matter, can’t really be open anymore until this passes.

So far, I’ve used the 311 app to send in construction repair requests, and I’ve directly emailed DC Dept. of Transportation. Neither has brought a response.

Anybody with any experience of this or any ideas for next steps? Hopefully it gets fixed soon but I want to be prepared if it’s not.”


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