Residents: Construction crews make poor neighbors

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Residents living along Lakeview Avenue say they’ve dealt with more than inconvenience this summer.

Thanks to a construction site that calls their neighborhood home, they’ve dealt with the dirt, they’ve dealt with the noise, and just two weeks ago, one resident’s car was hit by a truck. They say something needs to be done.

“He took full responsibility (for hitting her car), but it’s been over two weeks now since someone has been contacted, and absolutely nothing has been done to the car,” said Cher Ravenell, who’s lived along Lakeview for about 20 years.

In addition to her car being hit, Ravenell says she and her family have been forced to put the brakes on having their house painted because of the constant dust.

“That’s not going to happen this year, and I don’t know how long this project is supposed to last,” she said. “So I don’t think it’s going to happen next year, either.”

The company, Union Concrete, has used the lot this summer as a staging point for their work on the Gateway project, which is connected to the the Peace Bridge corridor nearby. They referred all calls to the Department of Transportation, which is leading the project. The project is expected to be complete in 2017.

Neighbors like Charles Aris say the traffic is constant; one truck often follows another. And the recent stretch of dry weather means that traffic kicks up dust — a lot of it.

“There’s been close to 30 trucks that have gone in and out of that lot,” Aris said about a period of no more than an hour.

“We can’t keep our windows open,” he said. “You’re breathing in all this dust. They seem to have no feelings, no caring about the neighborhood at all. They just do what they have to do. And it’s not right. It’s not fair.”

Others agreed.

“You can’t be outside,” said Bony Hernandez. “You have to be inside the house at all times. The odor is no good. It’s terrible.”

It’s forced Cher and her family inside all summer.

“The lake just blows all that dust on our house, on our cars,” she said. “We have our air conditioners in and they constantly have to be cleaned.”

Aris says he’s complained for weeks. But all he’s seen is more trucks, and more dust.

That was until Tuesday.

Representatives from NYSDOT said they will answer the complaints. In fact, water trucks began working the lot and street shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, although residents say it’s the first time they’ve seen the trucks in months.

The DOT says those measures will continue, and the contractor will work to maintain a lower level of dust on the street.

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