Hoan Bridge project noise led alderman to consider filing suit

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Hoan Bridge project is being blamed for some noisy nights by some who live in Milwaukee's Third Ward. Crews are working to resurface the bridge deck -- which is a lengthy and loud process. Now, FOX6 News has learned complaints about the noise led city officials to consider suing contractors.

Milwaukee has a noise ordinance that prohibits loud construction on projects like the Hoan Bridge during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. However, neighbors who live near the construction say they've heard the noise all hours of the day and night.

"Got woken up around 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m. If you're a light sleeper, yeah it was loud. Definitely hitting the steel beams, and you could hear it vibrate through the air," Brandon Staveteig, who lives in the Third Ward told FOX6 News.

Some who live inside the Jackson Block Apartments building in the city's Third Ward say the construction noise has become a problem.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman says that because the Hoan Bridge project is being run by the state, it doesn't have to comply with Milwaukee's noise ordinance. Still, Bauman asked the Wisconsin DOT to comply. Bauman says he wrote a letter to Gov. Scott Walker on the issue, and even pursued legal action.

"About three weeks ago I started getting complaints about excessive amounts of noise. I asked our city attorney to investigate the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the contractors -- who are actually the ones making the noise," Alderman Bauman said.

For now, the city is not pursuing a lawsuit. That's partly because noise complaints from those who live nearby have dropped off.

"Since the noise appears to have been mitigated over the last week-and-a-half, they don't seem to be working the same late hours, it doesn't seem to be the same amount of noise taking place -- we decided to put the matter on hold for the present," Alderman Bauman said.

The Hoan Bridge project is scheduled through December of 2015, as crews demolish one half of the bridge at a time. Therefore, it is possible noise at night may become an issue again.

For now though, neighbors say they're back to sleeping through the night.

"As of right now, yeah I haven't been woken up by it at all," Staveteig said.

Alderman Bauman says if the noise does become a problem again, the city may reconsider whether to file suit.

FOX6 News reached out to the Wisconsin DOT to find out why work has stopped at night -- whether that was in response to complaints or not, but we haven't heard back at this time.