South Mountain construction waking deaf neighbors

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Some in Ahwatukee say the Loop 202 expansion construction is like living next an earthquake. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some in Ahwatukee say the Loop 202 expansion construction is like living next an earthquake. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
For some neighbors adjacent to the construction near Pecos and 32nd Street, the problem isn't noise,  it is vibration. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) For some neighbors adjacent to the construction near Pecos and 32nd Street, the problem isn't noise, it is vibration. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mitchell Siegel is deaf and said the shaking was so strong last Monday, it woke them up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mitchell Siegel is deaf and said the shaking was so strong last Monday, it woke them up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Construction on the South Mountain Loop 202 is still in the early stages, but some Ahwatukee neighbors say it’s like living next to an earthquake.

Crews are currently doing grading work along Pecos Road to make room for the 22-mile freeway. Once complete, the freeway extension will connect Interstate 10 at Pecos to Interstate 10 at 59th Avenue.

[RELATED: Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway has its first new pavement]

For some neighbors adjacent to the construction near Pecos and 32nd Street, the problem isn’t noise – it is vibration. They say some of the grading and compounding work last week caused so much vibration, it rattled windows, put ripples in pools and caused minor damage to their homes.

“I had stuff in my house that was literally shaking on shelves. My windows were vibrating so bad, I literally thought they might crack,” said Elizabeth Gagnon.

Her windows didn’t crack, but she said she noticed a crack in her kitchen ceiling that wasn’t there before.

“I have several neurological conditions, and the shaking of the house actually exacerbated that,” she said. “The shaking actually set off my tremor.”

[RELATED: ADOT to widen Pecos Road prior to South Mountain Freeway work]

Another neighbor, Mitchell Siegel, said the construction widened several existing cracks in his backyard. Siegel and his wife are deaf. He said the shaking was so strong last Monday, it woke them up.

“The pool was shaking. Everything was shaking,” he said through a sign language interpreter.

Both Siegel and Gagnon say the problems will likely get worse as crews hired by the Arizona Department of Transportation begin constructing the mainline freeway.

[RELATED: Loop 202 fence baffles residents but the answer could be rooted in history]

An ADOT spokesman said the agency monitors construction impacts on the neighborhood and investigates complaints. The agency confirmed it plans to meet with Gagnon on Friday to discuss her concerns.

“If you have a complaint, let us know. We want to work with you,” said ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel.

Krugel said the agency’s contractor is using new equipment with noise-reducing technology and adheres to all local noise ordinances.

[RELATED: District trying to limit freeway construction impact on schools]

“We do everything possible to mitigate some of that noise, but construction is not silent,” he said. “We're going to do our best to limit the noise as much as possible and try to get the project done as soon as possible, so the public won't have to deal with a long duration of the project.”

The freeway should be completed by the end of 2019, he said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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