Norfolk residents upset by reported late-night demolition of ODU’s Foreman Field

Posted at 6:46 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 20:22:47-05

NORFOLK, Va. – Reported around-the-clock demolition on Old Dominion University’s Foreman Field has some Norfolk residents upset due to the noise.

“Was just wondering if I’m the only one who finds stadium demolition after midnight odd,” wrote one user on the app Nextdoor. “Are there different rules governing state demolition vs private demolition? Whatever the case, I think ODU could be a better neighbor and wrap it up around 9.”

Related: “It sounds like there’s people tailgating in there.” Norfolk PD working to curb late night noise 

Some Nextdoor users said representatives attended a civic league meeting and said that late-night demolition is allowed due to a tight schedule.

“This was addressed at the civic league meeting and everyone who attended had an opportunity to express their views,” another user wrote. “The stadium renovation is on a tight nine-month schedule and it is necessary to work 24/7 in order to make that happen.”

One said she was “tired of my house shaking,” while another called it “inconsiderate noise.”

Related: Overnight Virginia Beach roadwork upsets neighbors

Demolition on the field began on November 19. Two different demolition crews are working to tear down the 82-year-old stadium and haul away debris.

On Sunday, one of the companies, East Coast Demolition, provided an update on the construction, saying that the stadium is 100 percent loaded out and the demolition on its side of the field would be complete within the next couple of days.

Ricky Webb, the Vice President of East Coast Demolition, gave News 3 the following statement, saying the company has tried to “keep noise down on our side as much as reasonably possible under the circumstances:”

I really don’t have much input into that situation as I was not the contractor working on the west side facing the residential structures. We were the contractor on the east side that faces Hampton Blvd where there are no residential structures. As of today we are scheduled to be completed by Wednesday and our equipment will demobilize shortly thereafter. During the course of our work my operators/staff did not work past 12 and my trucks stopped at 4:30 pm daily never entering the residential areas. We really tried to be good stewards of the community and keep noise down on our side as much as reasonably possible under the circumstances. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to clarify our position.

In response to the noise complaints, a spokesperson for the university said ODU and S.B. Ballard Construction have been working closely with the City of Norfolk staff to communicate all construction activities. Before work started, both made “significant efforts” to communicate, meeting in person with neighboring civic leagues in advance of stadium reconstruction and discussing the construction schedule in detail. The spokesperson said they were open about what residents could expect.

Click here to see a copy of the presentation that was shared at the civic league meetings. 

ODU has nine months – when football isn’t being played – to complete the reconstruction, which requires an accelerated schedule with extended hours throughout phases of the project. The demolition phase is currently the only one with a 24/7 schedule, the university spokesperson said, and they are doing everything they can to minimize noise levels.

“Thanks to the contractor’s efforts, the demolition phase is almost complete and there will be no more work after 11 p.m. for the remainder of the week. We understand this was frustrating to neighbors and appreciate their continued patience as we complete the construction as safely and swiftly as possible,” the spokesperson said.

The next phase of the schedule is pile insertion, which will start as early as next week and extend through January. ODU and S.B. Ballard Construction selected the pile insertion process to minimize noise levels.

Unlike traditional pile driving, the process involves the use of an auger for the first 30 percent of the 85-foot pile of the insertion process, then some tapping. The spokesperson said the noise level is considerably less than regular pile driving.

S.B. Ballard Construction and their subcontractors intend to complete the pile insertion phase on the following schedule:

  • Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Related: Noise from nearby tech facility is “unnerving” to Virginia Beach neighbors