Middletown Neighborhood Upset Over Dust From Construction Site

Neighbors living in front of a construction site in Middletown have had enough of what they are calling a huge mess of dirt and dust on the street coming from the site.

The mess is spreading to homes and cars on Middle Street.

The site is the future home of the FedEx Ground Distribution Hub. It was formerly an Aetna campus and the new facility is scheduled to open in 2018.

While it will bring in hundreds of jobs to the City, the building project is bringing headaches for those who live nearby.

NBC Connecticut spent the day on Middle Street to try and get answers for aggravated residents. The layer of dirt on Middle Street is enough to make a dust cloud as cars and trucks drive over it.

“It’s the dust. It’s trying to keep the dust out,” Bob Dezi, who lives near the site, said.

While Dezi is not against the project, he told NBC Connecticut that he just wants it to be done right.

“All you have to do is look at my car, my flowers, look at the flower out here – dust is loaded on all of these flowers,” Dezi said.

For Lisa Zona, it goes beyond the cleanliness. The amount of dust has become a health concern for her family.

“We have to keep our AC’s in back windows of the house. I have asthma. My daughter has asthma,” Zona said.

She also has concerns about her son's bedroom.

“We don’t even open the windows because it’s not worth it to come in on his bed and for them to be breathing it in,” Zona said.

Dezi is also concerned about the noise from trucks and construction equipment in the early morning hours.

“The trucks started rolling at 5, 5:30, quarter to 6 in the morning. And behind it are the shovels and bulldozers and the removal of dirt,” Dezi said.

According to a city ordinance, noise from construction activity cannot begin before 7 a.m.

The neighborhood is part of the Westfield Residents Association.

Jennifer Mahr, the chair of the association, asks that the construction company follows the ordinance.

There are trucks that wet down the road and street sweepers that come through several times a day.

Mahr wants more of that to cut down on the dust.

“That they just put water down. So there is a street sweeper that works almost continuously but his little streams of water don’t keep down the big huge dust clouds,” Mahr said.

In a statement, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew addressed residents’ concerns.

"We've asked for additional street sweeping. We also don't want residents disturbed so early in the morning and both our Planning Department and Public Works Department are working with the company on their hours. This project will be very good for the community and we certainly want to limit the impact to the public during construction," Drew said.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the construction company, Barton Malow, and FedEx.

FedEx company spokesperson, David Westrick, responded with a statement.

"Safety is our top priority in all of our operations at FedEx Ground, including during the construction of our package sortation hub in Middletown. Our construction partner is working directly with the city and neighbors on daily efforts to mitigate any construction effects including ensuring that all construction work is done between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., and daily maintenance of roadways. We are aware of the feedback from the local community and are working with the appropriate contacts to acknowledge these concerns and maintain a safe construction site."

Barton Malow has not responded.

Contact Us