Indiana county OKs limits on I-69 construction noise in response to residents' complaints
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana county where crews are busy building the Interstate 69 extension has responded to residents’ complaints by limiting how much noise crews can make at night.
The Monroe County Board of Commissioners approved a new county noise ordinance Friday that restricts the amount of noise that can be made between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., including vehicles noises.
Noise from the highway’s construction is allowed during the day, but a special permit is needed from the board of commissioners for any work after 10 p.m.
County highway director Bill Williams said the permit portion of the ordinance mimics what the city of Bloomington already had in place, and the county highway department went through the process when working on a bridge project.
“It’s totally discretionary; it doesn’t compel us to say yes or no,” Stoffers told The Herald-Times (http://bit.ly/1sR63YF ).
The ordinance includes a provision allowing the sheriff’s department to issue a citation to those who violate the ordinance. It also makes it illegal for a noise to be audible 50 feet or more from its source during those hours with some exceptions, including emergency and law enforcement situations, airport operations and annual festivals.
“My view is this can capture anything that we haven’t anticipated,” said board president Patrick Stoffers.
Tom Tokarski, who lives near the I-69 construction area and has long opposed the project, told the board that night construction began in June along a 27-mile section of the highway that, when complete, will run 142 miles between Evansville and Indianapolis.
Tokarski said the nighttime construction is disruptive.
“We close all the doors and windows and put pillows over our heads, and you can still hear it,” he said.
Scott Wells, a plan commission and Metropolitan Planning Organization member, said there were still concerns about how enforceable the new ordinance would be.
“I am just concerned about how we’re going to make this work,” Wells said.
Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com