Construction Noise and Vibration

During construction of the CBD and South East Light Rail, noise, vibration, dust and other impacts have been monitored and managed by the Sydney Light Rail’s delivery partner, ALTRAC Light Rail Consortium, and their construction partner Acciona Infrastructure Australia.

While every effort is made to mitigate impacts where possible, the construction of major civil projects such as the CSELR will inevitably involve a level of noise and vibration disturbance. Noise can result from a range of activities and equipment used during construction and road works. Common sources include heavy machinery, trucks, piling, power tools and mandatory reversing alarm on mobile equipment. Noise on the site may vary at any given time depending on the activities being carried out. Noise is measured using the decibel scale and the perceived level of noise may vary from person to person.

Piling and other construction activities may result in vibrations felt in adjacent buildings. These are common techniques used in urban areas and if you feel vibration in your property due to construction activities there is no immediate cause for concern. We are able to perceive vibration at lower levels than are necessary to cause any damage. There are guidelines that limit the level of vibration that can be produced to minimise the risk of cosmetic damage to buildings. These consider the type and use of the building e.g. residential, commercial or industrial. Heritage buildings are considered on a case-by-case basis to determine the sensitivity to vibration activities. Properties or assets identified as requiring a building condition assessment survey prior to the works have been contacted and offered a free-of-charge inspection by a qualified contractor.

TfNSW and ALTRAC work closely with local councils to evaluate work activities which may be required to be undertaken at night. Activities requiring Out of Hours Work may include:

  • Those that would otherwise impact major access and road routes during peak periods
  • Activities that would impact the safety of workers and or the public if they were to be carried out during busy periods
  • Delivery of large or oversized machinery and construction materials
  • Emergency work required to avoid harm to people, property and the environment
  • Footpath work where there are high levels of pedestrian activity in the day
  • Work which may require utilities such as water and gas to be switched off and therefore would have reduced impacts to customers if carried out at night
  • Situations where focused, continuous work periods have the ability to reduce long term impacts to communities, in consultation with those communities.

Noise Graph