Early-morning, seven-day-a-week construction activity at a 552-space parking garage slated for downtown Mineola has roused some residents — and their felines — from their sleep and prompted enough noise complaints that the contractor pushed the start time at the worksite back an hour.
Crews began building the Harrison Avenue garage in October, and in recent weeks workers had been pile-driving beams into the ground. That work ended last Tuesday, said Travis Brennan, community outreach director for Third Track Constructors, or 3TC.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has hired 3TC to build an additional 9.8-mile track on the LIRR Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville. As part of that project, 3TC is building two parking garages in Mineola to help alleviate long-standing parking woes.
With pile-driving completed, Brennan told Mineola trustees that the next phase of the construction is excavating the site to pour foundations.
MTA spokesman Aaron Donavan wrote in an email Thursday that “much of the louder work is behind us and we will continue our efforts to minimize disruption from this important construction. Getting this job done without delay is the best way to accomplish that and to bring more than 500 new parking spaces for LIRR customers as quickly as possible.”
The village received about a dozen noise complaints during the first week of construction, then a few more the following week, said Mineola Village Clerk Joseph Scalero. The complaints focused on noise and the construction start time, said trustee Paul Cusato.
Pasquale Zito, a Mineola attorney whose office is near the construction site, said he has felt the ground shake in his office during construction. Resident Tom Redmond said his family "can actually feel the vibration in my house, which is kinda crazy."
"I actually don't mind it, but I'm sure for people who live closer, it's more of a hassle for them in the mornings," Redmond said.
Angela Wrenn, who lives on Wellington Road, said the 7 a.m. construction start time has disturbed the sleep of her husband and their cat, Mittens.
"The noise starts at 7 or 7:30 and it echoes awfully," Wrenn said. "It wakes us up, honestly. They should start at 8 a.m."
Brennan said 3TC received complaints about the 7 a.m. start time as well and now begins its work at 8 a.m.
The Harrison garage will be finished in 18 months, Brennan said. The second garage will be on Willis Avenue and Main Street and will have 350 to 450 spaces.
Brennan also told trustees that 3TC is “sandwiching the [third track] project from the eastern- and westernmost portions and working our way inward.”
Under the third-track plan, Mineola will also have two at-grade crossings eliminated, renovations to its substation and a revamped train station.