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Overnight Construction Noise Takes Toll On Iowa City Neighborhood

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - Residents living in a neighborhood in the southern part of Iowa City are fed up with overnight noise stemming from the construction of a new University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics children's hospital. While the worksite is more than three miles from the Sandhill Estates neighborhood, people living there are being directly affected by the excavation phase of the project.

"This is where they're dumping all the dirt," said Tim Kasparek, who lives at 1001 Langenberg Ave., a few hundred yards from the dumpsite. "They go all night and we can't sleep."

Kasparek, his wife and two young children have lived in their house for seven years with few issues.

"When it starts affecting your kids it becomes a real problem," he said.

The dirt is being used to fill an old quarry on land owned by S&G Materials, Kasparek said. An outside contractor has been brought in to do the work, but they're not moving dirt during the day in an effort to reduce traffic at UIHC, he said.

University officials said Thursday night in an email that the work is necessary at night to keep the project on schedule. The excavation phase of the project will continue until August, official said.

"The neighborhood is indeed in Iowa City," said Rick Fosse, Iowa City public works director. "But the area where they're dumping is in [Johnson County]."

The city of Iowa City has a noise ordinance, but no such policy exists in the county, Andy Johnson, executive assistant to the Board of Supervisors, said.

"This is something that is on our radar," board chairperson Janelle Rettig said. "We're not sure how to craft a sound ordinance, because it's really hard to enforce on a business, a lot of them work 24-hours."

A call seeking comment from S&G Materials was not returned Thursday.

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