With Nighttime East River Construction Project Finished, Brookdalers Can Finally Rest

Residents of Hunter College’s Brookdale dorm have finally gotten a chance to rest as a noisy nighttime construction operation was completed on Wednesday night. The pile driving operation on the service road beneath FDR Drive was part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project.

The construction site is located between 23rd and 25th streets, near the Brookdale campus. The foundational drilling work for a new flood wall, which lasted more than a week, was scheduled between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to avoid daytime closure of the service road.

“The drilling noise made it very difficult to sleep or focus on schoolwork at night,” said Bella Ramirez, a resident on the sixth floor of Brookdale’s north building. “Plus, because it’s so hot in our rooms, we need to have our windows open, but if we do, the noise is way worse. I noticed that on nights when the drilling happened, I can’t pay attention in class the next day. I’m too tired.”

View of FDR Drive looking south from 25th Street footbridge
FDR Drive. Photo by Jasmine Shiffer

Sarah Nowik, resident assistant for the tenth floor of the north building, received many complaints like this. When she texted the RA office for help, they said they’d submitted official complaints to the city.

“Our office put in a bunch of 311 complaints,” someone from the RA office wrote in a text. “[We] ask that you all put in a complaint as every resident (especially on the courtyard sides and the east building) is definitely impacted by this.” 

Nowik encouraged the residents on her floor to do exactly that. “It’s the worst,” she said of the noise. “Everyone at Brookdale has put in complaints.” 

The ESCR project is aware of the noise issue and worked “diligently” to complete the operation, according to ESCR community construction liaison Nadine Harris. “The pile driving was completed last night at midnight,” Harris said Thursday morning.

The flood wall construction project is, however, still underway, and is part of larger plans to protect the east side of Manhattan from future climate change-exacerbated flooding. The $1.45 billion project is expected to be completed over the next five years.

A pile driver in a sidewalk closure between 23rd Street and 25th Street
Sidewalk closure between 23rd Street and 25th Street. Photo by Lauren Hakimi

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