No sleep for residents of apartments near Selmon Expressway construction project

TAMPA - When you live with an eight-month old, getting a full night's sleep is a luxury. But combine that with living right next to a major highway construction project on the Selmon Expressway, and you're sleepless in Tampa.  

"I haven't had a good night's sleep in months now," said Nicole Daone, a resident of the Bell Channelside Apartments on Twiggs Avenue.  "It's stressful. It's frustrating. I'm worried about my son," she said.

Nicole and Dennis Daone have lived in the complex for more than two years, but ever since the construction started in October, they haven't found a way to live with the racket, which includes jackhammers and falling debris.

"On certain days it gets to the point where the windows actually vibrate from the noise," Dennis Daone said.  "The floors vibrate during the day."

Both said they've made complaints to the city of Tampa, the Florida Department of Transportation, and even law enforcement. Nicole stays at home with her son, and said she received a copy of the noise ordinance that forbids loud construction near a residential area. She said police declined to enforce it, because the project was outside their jurisdiction.

"It's a constant battle," Dennis said about getting his son to fall asleep. "And when it's at its worst, when the walls are shaking and the windows are rattling, he actually wakes up in the middle of the night and my wife has to go in and try to sooth him," he said.

The project goes on around the clock, with breaks only during rush hours. Nicole said this past weekend was the first 36 hour stoppage in the construction since it began.  

"Gasparilla," she said. Since then, it was business as usual. "All day, all night long. Weekends, holidays," she said.  

An official with the FDOT said he has heard of complaints about the construction noise, but a solution on how to deal with it is still being considered.  

The Daones, however, have heard enough. They're moving out of the Bell Channelside Apartments in favor of somewhere less noisy.  

"If they want to make this a more family friendly environment, I feel like they need to do a better job of keeping things quiet," she said.

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