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Airport Construction Will Bring Late Night Noise

by Katie Pyzyk July 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm 3,097 22 Comments

Updated at 2:57pm Communities along the Potomac River shoreline could be in for some noisy nights. Starting at 11pm on Monday, overnight construction work begins at Reagan National Airport to improve the main runway. Construction was supposed to begin tonight, but the contractor has more preliminary work to complete.

Crews will be pile driving from 11pm-6am for about the next three months so there is no interference with flights during the day. More than 200 existing piles will be replaced on a pier just south of the main runway, and the pier will be renovated.

You can find out more about the rehabilitation project here.

  • BerryBerryCold

    What communities? You have Bolling AFB on one side and the Potomac Yards Shopping Center on the other.

    Is this just some standard “warning” bureaucrats put out without actually doing any research?

    Plus I thought all airport projects were dead in the water until the FAA spending bill gets signed into law.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Maybe the noise could potentially affect people living near National in the Potomac Yard, Crystal City, Aurora Hills areas? But would the noise be that loud? Seems those areas are far enough away to be affected? Maybe the notice is published to CYA in case someone is disturbed and complains?

      • BerryBerryCold

        The pile driving isn’t going to affect people as much as planes taking off and landing on 15/33.

        • Matt

          It’ll affect me, at least. Lost of the folks in the Potomac Yard/Crystal City area have unobstructed views (and thus direct sound) to the river and these pilings. I’d much rather have to deal with some slight aircraft noise that will be over in 20 seconds a couple times between 10PM and midnight than have to listen to piles being driven for who knows how long from 11PM to 6AM.
          I, for one, appreciate the heads up, even if it is a CYA from the airport.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Thanks for the confirmation. I live in a different part of Arlington, and that is why I’d asked my questions earlier. I wasn’t sure just how loud it might be.

          • BrownFlipFlops

            The Eclipse condominium points right at the site, and should get quite an earful, for example.

    • Katie Pyzyk

      We are told this project will not be affected by the FAA shutdown because it is being managed by the Airports Authority.

      The contractor has not yet finished with preliminary work, so we just heard the start time has been moved to Monday night. The story has been changed to reflect this.

  • Jack

    I live in Fairlington area and I wonder if we will hear it. Its common for us to hear the trains late at night outside that go by the airport (I think that is the train I am hearing…)

    • Cyrus

      I’ve always wondered where that train sound was coming from. The things you learn on ArlNow…

  • charlie

    sometimes at night on Lee Hwy in Lyon Village area we can here the freight trains blowing their horns as they cross the potomac river. sounds travel in a strange ways.

    • Frenchy B

      It is weird hearing the trains, isn’t it? I could occasionally hear them in Glencarlyn as well. That, or it was the W&OD ghost train.

  • LVGuy

    you probably hear the train as it goes by King Street down Rt. 7.

    • LVGuy

      that was meant for Jack

      • Jack

        Thanks LVGuy – Never thought of that

  • Jack

    If you look at the airport satellite image, the lighting pier is long and extends to the south, but the lighting section to the north is very short (gravelly point is in the way). Anyone know why that is the case?

    • Lou

      Different types of instrument approaches. Because the landings from the south can fly a straight approach they are allowed to descend to a lower altitude (under 200 ft) before seeing the runway in really bad conditions. The extended lights help inform the pilots they are on the centerline as they make the transition from instruments to seeing the end of the runway for the flare.

      • Jack

        Thanks Lou – very helpful

  • BlueSkies

    What? We have occasional early morning cannon fire and folks go nuts, but they mention 7 hours, 3 months of overnight pile driving and everyone shrugs?

    • Novanglus

      ArlNow people are smart enough to weigh the useful purpose of the activity, whether there’s an alternative, and whether they can influence the decision.

      • CrystalMikey

        Or us S. Arlingtonians don’t care about noises as much as our Northern brethren?

  • jjbug1

    Take hope! I live next door to a Clarendon redevelopment which shared with its neighbors that pile driving would occur from 7 am-4 pm Mon-Sat for one month last Fall. With the cooperation of the weather and efficiencies on the job, they finished in 2 weeks! Maybe the job at Reagan National will also go faster than announced!

  • Tom O’Donnell

    I live above Del Ray — and I can assure you the pounding this morning that began at 3:34 was loud and clear. Even after I closed the windows.


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