Condo owners concerned about cement dust from Ohio River Bridges Project
People who live at the Harbours have had a front row seat to downtown bridge construction. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kathy Quiggins (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ken Hatcher (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Betty Cantrell (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Chuck Fugate (Source: WAVE 3 News)
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – As the Ohio River Bridges Project nears completion, it’s no secret motorists are more than ready, but people that call the Jeffersonville riverfront home are especially looking forward to it.
Some Harbours Condominiums residents said they have their own complaints and it goes beyond noise and dirt. Some claim it is affecting their health.
People who live at the Harbours have had a front row seat to downtown bridge construction.
“We weren't saying don't build the bridge, but there were precautions that could have been taken,” 12-year condo owner Kathy Quiggins said.
“It would have been very easy for them to hang a dust barrier, just like they do when they paint,” 3-year condo owner Ken Hatcher said.
This group is very concerned with cement dust.
“My air conditioning vent I've had to have it serviced a couple times more than usual and the servicemen noticed that the air conditioning vents were clogged with this concrete dust,” Hatcher said.
“You can see it, you can feel, you can taste,” Quiggins said.
Especially in the last year, these longtime owners said they have noticed respiratory issues.
“We've got gritty eyes, we've got rashes and I don't go to the doctor, I had to start going to the doctor in January for breathing problems,” 16-year condo owner Betty Cantrell said.
“I had my cardiologist do a stress test on me and he said it's not from your heart, it's in your lungs,” Quiggins said.
Chuck Fugate serves as The Harbours Condominium Association Board President. His condo also stares at the Kennedy Bridge.
“Our garage area cars are definitely getting thicker layers of dust than you would normally expect, but then again it's a huge project,” Fugate said.
He said because of the extra dust, Walsh Construction continues to give residents free car wash passes. Fugate adds the board's main priority is taking care of the building and residents haven't mentioned any health issues or concerns.
“If someone does have a health related concern from an external factor such as the bridges project and Walsh Construction, if they want to work with us and ask us we would definitely advise them, give them contact information, it's not something that we probably step in, but we would give our assistance,” Fugate said.
Michael McKay with Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations firm handles communications for Walsh Construction. In a statement, he said Walsh mitigates dust from cement with water. However, last weekend (Sept. 24-25) there was an isolated dust incident, which was likely caused from insufficient application. McKay said to date, they haven’t received any health-related complaints.
“What is the long term effect on us I mean we're elderly, we're not as strong to recuperate,” Cantrell said.
Walsh Construction added the Kennedy Bridge is very close to reopening and construction activity causing dust is almost finished. They plan to remain vigilant to mitigate the cement dust.