RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Leaders of an historic church on Long Island say a construction project has been wreaking havoc.
They claim the incessant pounding is cracking the church’s 100-year-old foundation, windows and walls.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the tradition of tolling bells from the steeple at United Methodist is lately drowned out by a competing sound directly across Main Street in Riverhead – a pile driver pounding steel poles into the ground, making way for a huge apartment and restaurant complex.
But church leaders say the shake, rattle and roll have consequences.
“The Tiffany windows are 100 years old and irreplaceable, you can’t get these again,” church trustee Barbara Damn told McLogan.
The windows are bowing and splitting, and there are cracks in the frames, walls, pews, balcony façade and wainscoting.
Church leaders say all this is new and due to hydraulic hammering.
“We are worried about the foundation. If it continues, are we going to be stable here?” Damn said.
Next door, Arlene Doroszka says her vintage home, a landmark, has also been damaged. She told McLogan she has to adjust her picture frames every few hours.
“They pound all day long,” she said.
The vibration is unsettling. Even her pills are shaking.
“A little bottle of Shalimar and it’s going back and forth like that,” said Doroszka.
The heavy pounding is expected to last another two months.
In the church’s basement, the contractor installed a monitoring sensor to measure the threshold of the pounding. He said it was within legal limits.
So far, the Consortium of Developers is not going on camera.
The church hired a firm. It blames the construction.
Members of the congregation wonder how they can afford to fix the historic church.
“Nobody seems to care,” Damn said.
The town said it is monitoring the situation and will require the developer to repair any damages.