As it turns out, much to the noisy annoyance of neighbors, the use of a vibrational hammer to stabilize sand and build a retaining wall at the Imi Ikena affordable housing project in Wailuku continued Monday.
Frustrated neighbors called The Maui News to complain, with one saying her "building's rattling like an earthquake." In a phone call, she could barely be heard over the din of noise in the background.
Last week, Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said that the noisy construction work was supposed to end Friday. But he continued to get complaints as work continued Monday.
He referred a call to project representative Darryl Banks.
"We've got a two-phase, pile-driving schedule," said Banks, late Monday afternoon.
The first phase is expected to wrap up by noon Thursday, and the second phase is anticipated to last 2 to 3 weeks in the later part of November or early December, he said.
Banks said the use of the vibrational hammer is necessary to stabilize sand and build a retaining wall on the 28-unit apartment project's site at 511 Imi Place.
The Hunt Co. of Oahu is the construction contractor, he said.
"We have to be careful when we build the project," said development owner David Billings. "This is the safest way to do it."
Billings said he can appreciate the neighbors' complaints about noise and vibration.
"This is not easy for any of us," he said. "We're doing everything we can to expedite the process as quickly as possible."
The vibrational hammer work on the project was originally planned for three phases, but those were shortened to two phases out of concern for the neighbors, Billings said.
Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino, who holds the council's Wailuku residency seat, said that he has heard complaints from residents and has been talking to the project developer and county officials to see what can be done.
"It is loud, and very, very vibrating," he said of work on the project. "I was hoping it would be done today (Monday)."
Banks said he has received a half-dozen complaints about the project from neighbors, and he has distributed fliers to residents, met with some property managers and attempted to reach out to neighbors to address their concerns.
Hawaii Inspection Group will do an analysis of neighboring properties to see if there's any damage and to address neighbors' concerns, he said.
"We're trying to be good neighbors in addressing all of their concerns," he said. "We apologize for the inconvenience."
The project has secured a noise permit from the state Department of Health, Banks said. And sound readings from the project construction are "within the constraints" of the noise permit.
The construction company lost four workdays earlier this month, while concerns about noise were worked out in a permit with the Health Department, he said.
Banks said that in addition to the noise permit, the project has a grading permit from Maui County, but no building permit. The ongoing work is being done under the project's grading permit, Banks said.
The project's building permit is in the last stages of county review with the county Department of Water Supply, he said.
* Brian Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.