July 27, 2010 8.12 am This story is over 160 months old

What’s in a ‘considerate construction’?

Comment: Andrea Lilley tells of her ordeal with living in the city centre next to two construction sites.

Waking up early in the morning to the sound of birds can really only be found at 4:45am where I live. The melodic sound of chirping and cool rushes of breeze are soon covered by the sound of traffic, and people rushing to work. The slow humming of vehicles as they go by is soothing and gives my flat an inner city feel. Acceptable noise in my daily life.

One such noise that chills me to the bone is the sound of construction. Bangs and clanks and brick throwing during my entire day is anything but peaceful. The past few weeks living next to construction has been enough for my entire life. I shudder at the thought of something else being built where I live. My experience with the Brayford Street Car Park certainly hasn’t been a good one.

Now this might seem like a rant against construction workers, but let me assure you it’s not. I can understand how hard their job is, and appreciate what their building does for a community and the economy. But why does it have to be so loud? Why are my ears invaded? Is it a fault in my window glazing that I cannot escape?

When the work on the new Brayford Street Car Park and the Royal Bank of Scotland started, it also started my living hell. Every morning was filled with painful banging that couldn’t be escaped.

As the car park was being built, bricks were being thrown into large bins. One after another added to the already large headache that never seemed to stop.

And how did the brick wall that seemed reasonably small become large and filled with never-ending bricks? It must have taken, what seems like, three days to take down what they did.

Banging and clapping and echos filling my apartment and all its corners.

Unenviable: The horror that is happening outside a bedroom window in Andrea's flat.

If this was not bad enough, work was also being done on the Royal Bank of Scotland. Now this company, which is practically silent now — and I commend them for that — started off very rocky.

There were no fancy covered areas at first and all you could hear were pipes and banging. What they were doing can only be imagined. I was under the impression that it was just two large signs. Why an entire building would have to be covered for that I may never know.

At night young drunk people would climb into the area and throw things around. Why a drunken person would be compelled to play in a construction area I also may never know. Fences were knocked down and pipes being tossed like the rubbish.

It seemed not only days, but my nights were being invaded by these harsh alien sounds. Probably the reason for the gigantic wall that now surrounds the work area.

Bang! Clank! Bam, another brick in the bin.

There were days I considered sticking my head out of the window and yelling. Screaming at the top of my lungs so that maybe they would tiptoe more? But what good would this do? I would just be a crazy, and wake up more people.

Suffering in silence, though not on their part, was pretty much my best option. Why can’t more people bear the sign for considerate construction?

Although the company carrying the title has followed all the rules, I have gazed deeply into that sign hoping for a change. Nowhere does it mention that they have keep quiet while doing work. I told myself that if I looked at it hard enough it would rearrange and add to itself. A new paragraph and bullet point would appear that gave me the right to throw a hissy fit about noise.

No such luck.

So now we have a new car park, and if I am lucky it will be a quiet one. Let’s hope that all the drunks decide not to hitch rides from their friends that parked there. Then again, that’s another story.

Andrea was born and raised in the U.S.A. and moved to Lincoln with her husband in March 2010. Andrea has attended The University of Texas in San Antonio and Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. She is currently taking a break from her degree in Radio & Television to explore the United Kingdom.