As a manager at the Ridge Theatre in Vancouver, Burnaby resident Steven Ferguson is a night owl.
But nighttime construction on the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project is keeping Ferguson awake much later than even he can handle, he said, creating a cacophony outside his window for months.
"I understand they have a lot of work that needs to get done and they're probably perpetually behind schedule," Ferguson said in a phone interview with the Burnaby NOW. "By the same token, it would be nice during the early hours of the morning if it wasn't such an issue."
The problem began this summer, when construction started in his neighbourhood in North Burnaby.
"I was aware of the construction down the street, on the other side of Gaglardi, about as far back as May or June," Ferguson said. "By July, it was in full swing in the immediate vicinity."
Ferguson usually gets home from work between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., he said in an email sent to the project's information email box and copied it to local papers.
"These days, I must wait until I'm quite exhausted to sleep, as if I go down at any point before that I will be kept up by the pounding, shouting, bleeping alarms of the trucks backing up, the honking, blaring, and vibrating of the heavy machinery," he wrote in the email.
Even on hot summer nights, he often had to shut his bedroom window around 3 a.m. because the noise was so intrusive, he added.
While his wife has been able to sleep through the night despite the noise, according to Ferguson, his six-year-old son has not.
"I wish I could tell you how many times he has come out of his room at night saying he 'hears the monsters' and how many times I have to tell him they are simply 'big trucks,'" he wrote.
The noise is excessively loud, with the sound of trucks' beeping audible over the phone when he calls home to say goodnight to his son and wife, Ferguson said in his email.
He would like to see the nighttime construction curbed near residential areas such as his, he said in his phone interview with the NOW, but he is pessimistic about that happening.
The highway construction has a special permit so that work can take place at night, he added, though work does stop on Sundays.
Ferguson had not received a response from anyone involved with the project by Oct. 4, he said.
The Transportation Investment Corporation, a Crown corporation, is overseeing the project.
The portion of the expansion project taking place near Ferguson's home is the widening of the highway near Government Street. The majority of that work is taking place on the south side of the highway, according to Greg Johnson, communications manager for the project.
"Best practices are being employed to minimize construction noise and work will take place during the day as much as possible," Johnson said in an email to the NOW. "However, much of this work has to take place at night because it requires Highway 1 lane closures."
Work on the westbound lane, embankment and wall is expected to be completed this fall, he added.
Construction of new transit ramps to the Lougheed Town Centre SkyTrain station at Government Street, also near Ferguson's home, is also part of the work scheduled for this year, according to Johnson.
Structural work, such as construction of the transit ramp underpass, grading and paving, is scheduled to take place in the spring, he added.
"Continuous nightshift work will occur throughout the embankment construction phase, will be reduced during the structures work, and then resume in spring 2013 for the paving and tie-in to Government Street," Johnson wrote.
Intermittent nighttime work is expected to continue until the fall of 2013, he added.
"Transportation Invest- ment Corporation takes residents' concerns seriously, and we recognize the inconvenience caused by this work," Johnson wrote. "We meet regularly with the contractor to discuss the concerns of residents and to see what measures can be taken to reduce noise.
"Steps taken include laying out the work zone in a way to minimize the use of back-up beepers, turning off idling vehicles whenever possible and asking workers to turn down the volume on their radios," he added.
The noise issue rests with the province and is not under municipal jurisdiction, according to Lou Pelletier, the city's director of planning and building.
But the city can contact the province on behalf of residents to pass on noise complaints and request follow-up, he said.
Residents can also call the project's contact line directly at 1-866-999-7641.