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Phone: 503-823-7300


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Noise Control and Downtown Construction


BDS Noise Control Officer - Paul van Orden (Trimet construction at SW 6 & Madison)A number of my coworkers have been encouraging me to take time and get a few posts rolling on our blog, so here is the first installation in a series.

Construction projects downtown are a notable source of noise complaints from citizens this winter with several larger projects underway; from the pile driving near the Hawthowne Bridge to TriMet's Light Rail efforts in the downtown core.

The Noise Control Office at BDS has been working closely with construction firms such as Stacy and Witbeck and Hoffman Construction to develop the best available practices to complete work and limit the impact on residences and surrounding businesses.

In a few limited cases the City's Noise Review Board may have held a public meeting and issued a noise variance to permit construction activities to continue after the normal 6 PM cut off hour.  In these cases the Noise Office works to develop noise mitigation plans when complaints arise.

The picture is from Wednesday January 16th and is of the Tri-Met construction in the vicinity SW Jefferson and 6th Ave.  In response to Complaints, sound level readings are measured using advanced Danish sound analysis equipment.  

Portland is one of the few US Cities following the lead of the European Union in regard to taking Noise Pollution seriously.  The recent acquision of new measurement equipment has allowed the City to remain the leader in the government sector in the NW in regards to addressing noise issues with actual measurement and not simply noise models that predict sound levels.  

While the project has permission from the Noise Review Board  to operate past the 6 Pm hour and up to 11 PM, the ultimate goal once complaints are recieved is to mitigate the health impacts on the community.

If you have questions on noise from contruction projects downtown, please call and we can see how we might be able to help you.

Paul van Orden
BDS Noise Control Officer

Noise Hotline 503-823-7350


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