Buildings in Barrack and Duke Streets subjected to severe tremors because of pile-driving at huge construction site

We are reprinting the first part of this letter, and including the second part which was not published because it did not arrive in our email inbox for technical reasons.

Dear Editor,

We the residents of the blocks of Barrack and Duke Streets, wish to bring to your attention the following matters; though late in the day, they are still pertinent to our peace and tranquillity.

A building of huge size has been under construction since late last year in

Duke Street, Kingston. In the process of clearing the ground of an old concrete floor, the excavator operator, rather than use the excavator bucket to rip the concrete floor, stamped the concrete floor to break it. This operation caused severe tremors to the buildings in close proximity to the worksite.

Buildings cracked and shook due to the pile driving exercise for which there was no survey done to the surrounding property to ascertain whether the buildings, most of which date back to the colonial era could withstand such an exercise.

The workers do not work the normal 7 am to 4 pm work schedule. For the period early in January this year, workmen would begin as early as 5.30 am to hammer away at work. Upon investigation, one of our residents was told that these chaps commence work early for extra pay, and to prepare work for the other men who would begin duties at normal hours. The men work until about 8.30 pm.

One gets the impression that they do job work. There is an absence of safety gear or harness for the workmen operating on a six-storey structure. In such high buildings, safety nets should be affixed to the sides of buildings.

When ready-mix concrete trucks make delivery, due to the speed with which they drive, buildings shake the portion of Duke Street where the building is situated, and will have to be repaired ‒ at whose expense?

We do expect noise in a construction zone, however when materials are delivered, we feel the excessive noise can be avoided if the materials are lowered gently off the trucks as well as on to the building.

The residents are frustrated, we have spoken to our local relevant authorities but have had no relief thus far.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided


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