COLUMBIA — An early-hour debris cleanup on Thursday at the Brookside on College apartments has brought the ire of some of the complex's neighbors.
Natalie Shocklee lives on College Avenue adjacent to the construction site. The noise woke her up early Thursday morning as trucks moved in to clear debris from the apartments, which were heavily damaged by a fire Sunday morning.
"It was really loud," Shocklee said. "It sounded like thunder."
The Columbia Public Works Department granted Brookside an extended work hours permit, allowing debris to be cleared between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. The permit's authorization started Wednesday night and expires Friday morning.
The application was approved by Public Works Director John Glascock.
Such extended work hours permits are usually reserved for roads, said Shane Creech, community development manager for the Public Works Department. He said the major fire in the heart of the city was an unusual circumstance warranting the permit.
He added that the site's proximity to residential areas was also unusual, and he "could see why some folks are upset."
Shocklee said trucks began entering the construction site just before 5 a.m. and continued to enter every half hour.
The majority of the debris was cleaned up Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, Creechsaid. The site's contractor is not anticipating more cleanup during extended hours, he said.
Calls to Brookside were not returned, but the developer told its residents in an email on Monday that construction teams and engineers "were working around the clock" to repair the estimated $7 million in damages.
In a Thursday afternoon Facebook post, Brookside said that 47 percent of the apartment complex will be complete in August. The remaining units will be completed by Oct. 15, the post said.
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