News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- All the banging doesn't bother 90-year-old Emelyn Herlong who lives in the Hitchcock Heights Condominiums, which are right next to the construction zone.
"No, not at all. We don't even feel the vibration,” she told News 12.
The banging is part of the process to build a new Laurens Street Bridge. Pile-driving started in late July, but now, there's a slight problem. More work will have to be done to the foundation, and the contractor will need more time to do it.
"They're going to have to work, perhaps on weekends. Perhaps on Sunday,” Herlong said.
On Wednesday, the city granted the contractor the ability to break Aiken's noise ordinance, which doesn't bother Herlong.
They'll now be allowed the pile-drive starting at 5 a.m. all the way to 12:30 a.m. City ordinances usually don't allow construction between 10 p.m. and 6 .m., but City Manager Richard Pearce says this is necessary. If construction isn't completed by Sept. 28, the South Carolina Department of Transportation will have to pay for 20 percent of the $2.5 million federally funded project.
"I look forward to improvements. I think it's good,” said Herlong, who’s lived in Aiken her entire life.
She says, once all the construction is done, she'll have a better view of downtown and a brand new sidewalk to use in getting there.
Some neighbors were concerned about the noise and the fact that they'll hear it later, but they tell News 12 they understand why it has to be done.
The contractor tells the City of Aiken that they will try to get the loudest work done during the day. Workers from the city will also be there to monitor things, too.
After heavy rains, the Laurens Street Bridge began to sink. SCDOT was rewarded an emergency contract to demolish and replace the bridge to prevent it from collapsing on the Norfolk-Southern railway below.
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