As University of Oregon students move in today, they could experience 16 weeks of noisy nighttime construction while a contractor tries to finish the new Hayward Field in time for the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships in May.
Ethan Wolery, a representative from the Portland-based Hoffman Construction Company, is asking the city to allow construction to go from 3:30 pm until midnight starting Oct. 7 and running through Jan. 31, 2020. The company says it needs to bolt the roof diagrid, install wood cladding and paint the exterior. This process could take as long as 16 weeks.
Wolery tells the city that the firm had always anticipated the need to have a swing shift to complete the project. The application letter adds that the firm thought construction at night was OK as long as it didn’t surpass the city’s noise ordinance of 70 decibels at 300 feet. Seventy decibels is roughly the same amount of noise as a car going 65 mph makes 25 feet away, or the sound of a home vacuum cleaner makes while being run in a living room.
After reviewing city code, Hoffman Construction realizes it has to obtain a noise variance permit.
“Not only is the second shift necessary for the safety of the employees onsite, it is also necessary to maintain the overall project schedule, which includes the project deadline that is required to host the spring 2020 track and field events, including the U.S.A. Olympic Trials,” the letter to the city of Eugene says.
The request is necessary to meet the tight deadline of completing the new Hayward Field because the conducting the overhead work could pose a safety hazard to employees working below the assembling, Wolery adds.
According to Hoffman’s sound readings, sound immediately outside of Hayward Field is in the range of 60 decibels and around 18th Avenue has readings that range from 47 to 53 decibels.
Public comment for the project began Sept. 23 but will end Wednesday, Oct. 2, according to planning documents from the city of Eugene. To submit testimony to the city about the noise variance application, contact Mike McKerrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.