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Loud, Late-Night Pounding Echoes Across Large Area

A loud banging sound – which police said was a pile-driver operated by Union Pacific Railroad – could be heard for many blocks in El Cerrito, Richmond and Albany last night, Tuesday, between 11:30 and midnight.

A loud, regular pounding sound, which police attributed to a Union Pacific Railroad pile-driver, could be heard for many blocks in El Cerrito, Richmond and Albany late Tuesday night.

The banging continued for the better part of half an hour between 11:30 and midnight.

A dispatcher for the Richmond police department, which handles calls for El Cerrito police after-hours, said the noise was caused by Union Pacific Railroad work in the Richmond Annex and that it was scheduled to continue until March.

The dispatcher, who declined to give her name, said police lacked authority to intervene because the work was being funded by a federal grant.

Irene Rojas-Carroll January 11, 2012 at 09:05 AM
I was awake anyway, but it's good to know what the noise was.
Liz Ozselcuk January 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I heard it while half asleep and wouldn't have even thought of it again without reading this article.
Dee Copley January 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
We in the Richmond Annex have been hearing this for at least 3 nights a week for several months, and often longer than 1/2 an hour. Last night the sound seemed to have moved closer to El Cerrito, as it had changed tone.
Gunther Rohrer January 11, 2012 at 04:21 PM
We've been hearing this all the way up at the top of Fairmount Avenue last night and last week, as well. I can only imagine how annoying this must be to the folks closer to the work site.
Rob January 11, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I also live in Richmond Annex. This has been discussed on our forum for months. It's outrageous, albeit legal.
John Stashik January 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Bridge construction, necessary to maintain infrastructure. Work is at night to avoid delay to Amtrak California trains and their passengers. From my location in El Cerrito one mile from the work site I hear more freeway and BART noise than the UPRR pile driver.
Patrick Ford January 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thanks for the info!
Steve January 11, 2012 at 07:48 PM
This is *claimed* to be legal but nobody has cited any specific section that applies. If it is legal, it is outrageous on so many levels. Based on information provided it appears that the Federal Government took money from the taxpayers and gave it to a private NYSE-traded company to do some maintenance work. Apparently, because some of the money involved was routed via the Federal Government (minus the usual handling fees), the people doing the work are allowed to ignore both common courtesy and the laws that apply to the rest of us. The reason given? It might "inconvenience" the Amtrak riders. That is probably true but so what? The people who are benefiting from the work *should* be the ones to be inconvenienced by it - not the tens of thousands of residents who are being forced to listen to midnight pounding. If you are so inclined, you can let your Federal representatives know how you feel: http://georgemiller.house.gov/ http://lee.house.gov/ http://garamendi.house.gov/
Charles Burress (Editor) January 11, 2012 at 08:14 PM
John, thanks for the info. Do you know the location of where the work is being done?
kevin January 12, 2012 at 05:32 AM
We've heard the noise on several occasions. We live above Blake Gardens in Kensington. I'm glad we don't live any closer to the work site.
Charles Burress (Editor) January 12, 2012 at 06:02 AM
I didn't realize it could be heard in Kensington too. Union Pacific told us today that the late-night repairs are due to continue for three more weeks. We have a new article here: http://patch.com/A-qdYQ.
Kendra January 10, 2013 at 08:48 PM
I live about 50-100 yards from the construction site. It is annoying to such a degree that I cannot tell you its extent. I would have loved some info beforehand. Knowing what to expect, and for how long, would have made the noise easier to handle.

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