Late-Night Construction Noise Gains Upper Hand In Lower Haight [Updated]

A crew works at Haight and Webster streets. | Photo: Dan Jackson/Twitter
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on July 18, 2017.

Last night, Lower Haight resident Dan Jackson took to Twitter after street construction at the corner of Haight and Webster woke up his infant daughter after 10pm.

He added that he spoke to the foreman and someone else on scene, who told him that it was planned night work that will last for two to three more years.

Today, District 5 Supervisor London Breed used Twitter to ask Public Works director Mohammed Nuru about the construction:

So far, Nuru hasn't publicly replied. We also asked Public Works spokespersons Rachel Gordon and Alex Murillo for comment, but have not received a response.

Supervisor Breed told Hoodline that she also lives in that area and called 311 last night for more information, to no avail. According to the District 5 supervisor, there shouldn't necessarily be late night work, unless it's a public safety issue.

Breed advised businesses and residents people to call 311 in situations like these, noting, "that's what I did." Alternately, constituents can reach out directly to her at london.breed(at)sfgov.org, she said.

When we asked Jackson which city agency was involved, he told us that it seemed to be the Water Department, and that he was also told to contact 311.

On Twitter, Jackson learned that a permit for the intersection for pavement renovation, sewer replacement, as well as water main installation has been issued through May 1, 2018.

The permit does not specify any specific work hours, however.

A noise issue complaint was also submitted on his behalf and Jackson was told that the agency will follow up within five business days. Jackson said he wasn't certain how long the construction lasted, but it continued after midnight. 

Photo: Dan Jackson/Twitter

Sometime after 2pm today, Public Works' Haight and Hayes project page was updated with a "notice of upcoming overnight work:"

The San Francisco Water Department will be working overnight on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 from 8 PM - 3 AM at the intersection of Buchanan and Haight streets performing water tie-in work. For any water or sewer emergencies, or to report a service problem, please call 3-1-1 or visit www.sf311.org

The project includes sewer main and water main replacement work, traffic and pedestrian signal work, curb ramp and bulb-out work, bus pad and bulb-outs, concrete street base repairs and repaving along Haight and Hayes streets. Work commenced in April 2015.

The project page mentions that "final tie-in work is traditionally done overnight to minimize disruptions to water service," because there's less demand for water overnight.

Jackson said he is now wondering if there was a meeting or some forum that he was not told about, where he could have had input in how this was planned. He also suggested that there could have been a better way to inform locals about this work.

[Update: 7/19/17, 8:45am] San Francisco Public Utilities Commission communications and public outreach manager Suzanne Gautier contacted us and said the work is part of an ongoing infrastructure improvement project.

While she noted that there's never a good time for construction like this, "what we failed to do is to notify the residents," as only business owners were contacted about last night's work.

Gautier said the agency has sent a representative to the scene to evaluate the situation and has also posted an update on Nextdoor.

"Lesson learned," she said.

More night work is planned, but improving outreach to the local community will be an ongoing effort, Gautier added. To learn more, Gautier encourages neighbors to visit this construction map or contact them directly.

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