SINGAPORE: In the quiet hours past midnight, residents of Block 424 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 found themselves grappling with a disturbance – the persistent clamor of construction activities in front of their homes.
The source of their discontent? The ongoing Cross-Island Line construction, specifically diaphragm wall construction works for the Ang Mo Kio interchange station.
Stomper Vincent, a resident living across from the Ang Mo Kio MRT station, shared his frustration, stating that the construction noise has been “totally unbearable” for over a month, occurring every night from Monday to Saturday.
A video shared on STOMP’s Facebook page depicted the MRT construction at 3:30 am, displaying two cranes actively working in the early morning.
The noise disturbance has led residents to take drastic actions, including using earplugs and placing a mattress against the window to dampen the noise.
LTA’s spokesperson addresses concerns over nighttime construction disturbance
Speaking to the citizen journalism website STOMP, a spokesperson for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) explained that the diaphragm wall construction involves deep excavation and the pouring of large amounts of concrete into the excavated area to form the wall structure.
“For safety reasons, these works must be carried out continuously to prevent any collapse of cut trench walls and ensure the stability of the surrounding ground and building structures,” the spokesperson said.
However, they acknowledged the inconvenience caused to residents and detailed the proactive steps taken by the LTA to mitigate the impact.
“We have reached out to residents through circulars and door-to-door engagements in advance to explain the nature of these critical works.
“In addition, we have put in place a series of noise mitigation measures, such as the installation of noise barriers and localised noise shields around the machines as well as work zones,” the spokesperson stated.
The current phase of diaphragm wall construction near Stomper Vincent’s block is expected to conclude by the end of the month.
Seeking understanding from residents, the LTA assured that they would work closely with contractors to make further adjustments if necessary.
Netizens’ varied responses
Upon reviewing the comments in the video’s comment section, it was evident that netizens had diverse opinions on this matter.
Some concurred that the noise pollution is disruptive, impacting the sleep of individuals who have early morning commitments, the elderly, and especially those residing with young children and infants.
Conversely, certain online commentators dismissed such grievances, advising affected individuals to “bear with it” for “better access to public transport in the future.”
These conflicting opinions sparked a debate in the comment section.
Moreover, individuals who raised complaints often appear to be residents of the area or individuals with previous experiences of being disturbed by construction noise late at night.
Perhaps, understanding this issue is enhanced when one has personally experienced it.
Alternatively, a few mentioned that “such activity is very common” in Singapore, asserting that “Singapore is one big construction site,” implying that people should adjust to these circumstances.
NEA guidelines on construction noise levels and work hours
Additionally, regarding matters related to construction noise, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has set maximum permissible noise levels based on the day of the week and time of day.
The NEA stipulates that no construction work is permitted from 10 pm on Saturdays or eves of public holidays to 7 am on the following Mondays or days after public holidays.
However, construction sites in the architectural/project completion stage are permitted to engage in quieter work on particular Sundays and public holidays.
Nevertheless, contractors are required to seek a permit from the NEA for such activities.