LARGO, Fla. - Residents in Rosetree Village in Largo were used to a quiet neighborhood, surprisingly secluded from the usual Ulmerton Road hustle and bustle down the street. That is until three weeks ago, when Department of Transportation project got underway right next to their community.
"It's very loud with beeping sounds, and boom buh boom buh boom," said Dee Bailey, who's house is plain view of the heavy machinery. "Just the pounding and the vibrations and going on behind us because it's only four feet away," she said.
FDOT is installing sewer pipes along Ulmerton Road, and digging a retention pond behind Rosetree Village as part of a drainage upgrade. But residents are angry about the late night construction work.
"What's going on with this contractor is an outrage," said Don Christiansen, a Rosetree resident.
"We have elderly people here. We have children that live here that have to go school. We have people that have to go to work. And we have people who have health problems," Christiansen said.
Officials with FDOT told ABC Action News they have warned the contractor to stop moving heavy equipment after 9PM, and to schedule the loudest work during the daytime. But FDOT said the contractor has deadlines he's trying to meet without facing penalties.
At the community's clubhouse, a sign has been posted showing the Largo ordinance that bans construction work between 6PM and 7AM louder than 58 decibels. Residents complain that the law is being broken nightly.
"We have kids doing the FCAT this week. They need a good night's sleep," said Jermaine Jenkins, who's son has been distracted by the noise and the bright lights at the construction site. Jenkins said other kids have been bothered by the activity as well.
"We have young kids that are afraid to change in their rooms because these machines are lighting up the entire back area," Jenkins said.
Some neighbors are organizing a petition among the 1000 homeowners to the Largo City Council, asking why the city isn't enforcing its own law.
Christiansen said when residents have called police, the contractor briefly stops the noise, but promptly resumes after officers leave.
"This area back here, they had it lit up like Yankee Stadium this Sunday night before last," Christiansen said, describing the area behind the subdivision where crews are preparing to dig the drainage pond.
FDOT said its already settled litigation with the Rosetree Homeowners Association about closing the entrance street to the neighborhood, limiting work on that road to no more than seven days.
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