North Tarrant Express construction causing neighbors to lose sleep

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

BEDFORD -- Thursday brought a rare sound to Bedford: silence.

After a heavy rain in the morning hours, construction on the North Tarrant Express was almost at a standstill. But neighbors doubted their quiet day would carry into a quiet night.

Jimmy and Paula Cleaver live just yards from one of the largest road construction projects in the region. Crews are rebuilding 13-and-a-half miles of highway from Euless to Fort Worth, and they're working all night to get it done.

"They usually go from 10:00 p.m. to 5 in the morning," Paula said. "When they are building bridges and using the pile driver, it shakes our house. We hear 'tap tap tap tap tap' and 'tap, tap, tap, tap, tap' constantly through the night."

They say their six-year-old daughter, Olivia, stays awake in her room, frightened.

"She's worried a truck is going to come through our backyard," Jimmy said.

"We're not mad at the construction workers," he added, "I explained to my daughter that these construction workers are just doing their jobs. I don't think they want to be working at 3 a.m. either."

The Cleavers have asked contractors for a calendar. They'd like a warning when crews plan to pull an all-nighter.

"I think they could send us an e-mail, just like [they] send out alerts in lane closures," Paula said. "It's just the schedule, the schedule, the schedule!"

But they can't get one.

"Our schedule is really almost 24/7 for the entire remaining stretch of this project," said Lara Kohl of Bluebonnet Construction, the contractors doing the work. "We do the major construction work overnight to specifically avoid high-traffic times. We're trying to manage 170,000 cars a day while we completely reconstruct this roadway."

Kohl added that it would be tough to stick to a schedule due to weather or other unforeseen things.

"We empathize -- I know this is inconvenient for residents, businesses, and drivers," she said. "Please understand this is short-term pain for long-term gain."

They are halfway complete with this five-year project.

"But that means I have two-and-a-half more years of this," Jimmy Cleaver said. "And to that I say, two-and-a-half more years is unacceptable!"

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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