MDOT I-96 freeway construction noise riles residents

It has been roadwork hell for some people in Brighton.

The construction noise is loud and disruptive and the sound barriers are gone and neighbors don't know what to do.

"I've climbed up on that hill, I've gone out there at 11 at night screaming at them to shut it down," said resident Corlin Hopper. 

But it was probably too loud for workers to hear her.

Welcome to the Brighton Country Club Annex subdivision where some neighbors living next to the I-96 US-23 interchange, say their homes are being ruined by the Michigan Department of Transportation's construction project.

"It felt like the earthquake we had three or four weeks ago," said resident Barry Hopper. "I'm thinking that's going to tear the foundation of the house up. It's like, boom boom boom."

"We just had our house appraised about three or four months ago," Corlin said. "And right now from what they appraised it, if we were to try to sell it right now, we would probably take a $30,000 or $40,000 loss on it - if we could even sell it."

They say the noise from traffic and construction are nearly unbearable and made worse because MDOT uprooted trees between the houses and the freeway - without a sound barrier.

"They did that on I-275 when they re-did that a few years ago both sides of the road for that neighborhood," Barry said. Not here."

With a digital sound reader to see just how loud it gets out here. About 66 decibels is the average but FOX 2 saw the meter go over 70. But neighbors claim it's topped 80 even 90 decibels.

Brighton traffic service center manager Mark Sweeney says his hands are tied to putting up a sound barrier.

"What I say first is I have sympathy for these folks," Sweeney said. "There have to be enough homes that justify, that are impacted by the noise, and would benefit from a wall."

Neighbors believe their concerns are falling on deaf ears.

"What's $450,000 to put up a wall compared to $60 million," said Barry. "It's a drop in the bucket."

As for the uprooted trees, MDOT may plant more, but not until after the work on I-96 is done. Crews are making new through lanes on I-96 and building bridges over US-23 and changing old lanes on I-96 for safety reasons.

"By doing this improvement we're not only addressing our need to replace the bridges," Sweeney said. "We're also addressing that left hand exit and entrance project."

That construction project won't be complete until August of 2016 and for now people bothered by the noise simply have to bear with it.
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