Jack Hammers and Backhoes in the Morning


7:10 a.m. – I’m awaked by a horrible cacophony loud enough to penetrate the ear plugs I often sleep with. I groan, roll over and pull out the ear plug, ready to scream at and claw the eyes from whatever family member is making the awful racket. Then I remember; this is my new normal. Jack hammers and backhoes in the morning, right outside my bedroom window. Every. Freakin’. Morning.

The summer started with our neighbors replacing their siding. They, at least, didn’t start at 7:10 a.m. but waited until the more respectable hour of 9:00 a.m. The saws and hammering weren’t loud enough to bother me when I was inside doing something but did keep me from sitting outside on the deck in the mornings, which is one of the few things I enjoy doing in the summer. But, no big deal, I figured. They would be done in a few weeks and I could enjoy the sound of birds and squirrels once again.

Ha! Try jack hammers and backhoes!

Pretty much the day after the neighbors stopped sawing and hammering, work crews started destroying the sidewalk next to the cross walk by my house. (The sidewalk the county replaced last summer.) It’s gone on for weeks now, the early morning jack hammering and backhoeing. Days and days of it, with no apparent change to the area they’re working on. Then one morning I peeked through the blinds after getting woken up by my jack hammer alarm and was nearly blinded by the sun glaring off the god-awful yellow house across the street, the one that I couldn’t see before!


The workers had cut off all the lower limbs of the trees on the green belt, the ones we left there so we wouldn’t see the yellow house. You can’t tell in this photo, but the yellow house is color of the center line in the middle of roads. It’s hideous. And now I can see it from my windows.

We think they’re putting a lighted signal on the cross walk, which is heavily used by kids going to the elementary school behind my house. This would be a good thing if they would ever get to it. People drive like maniacs on my street and lazy parents insist on parking on the side of the street, blocking visibility of the cross walk. For years, I’ve expected to hear screeching tires, screaming and a thud as one of the neighborhood kids gets taken out by a speeding car. But from what I see and hear, it seems more likely this inefficient electric company is digging for oil, or maybe a creating a passageway to China. I mean, how much jack hammering and backhoeing is really necessary to put in a light pole?

School starts in three weeks, so I’m hoping they’ll be done by then. But I have to wonder will start up once this project is done. I heard chainsaws this morning which makes me very nervous….


9 thoughts on “Jack Hammers and Backhoes in the Morning

  1. It’s getting near the end of the government fiscal year, and that usually means lots and lots of unnecessary projects to spend up the rest of the budget so they don’t get cut next year. It’s quite suspicious how slow a lot of public works construction projects go this time of the year…

    1. It’s maddening how so many unnecessary things get done, while others don’t. The county has been working on my street for three summers now, even tearing up recent projects to redo them. Meanwhile, there are streets in Snohomish you could lose a wheel on if you don’t dodge the potholes!

  2. I well understand how you feel having gone through similar sounds in my old street, but the worst had to be the dog next door (about 12 feet from my lounge window at the time) barking non-stop all day and part of the night (apparently) because the owners were too lazy to take the dog for a walk. Ever. Then they began 18 months of house renovations and the noise (early in the morning) was deafening. Then the faulty burglar alarm that went off 3-4 times a week. I think they must have gone away as the problem didn’t get resolved for weeks.

    You have my sympathy Trisha.

    I think that sometimes public works are on ‘go slow’ so they are always in work and earning.

    Shame about the tree lower limbs being stripped. Probably also made the natural shape of the tree ugly (let alone opening up an unsightly view).

    1. That poor dog! I hate it when people don’t care for their pets. It makes me so angry. As would the alarm going off all the time! Our old neighbors were very noisy and it gets depressing after awhile because there’s only so much you can do about it.

      The trees are uglier now that their lower branches are stripped off!

  3. I think the assault on my eyes by the ugly house would annoy me even more than the jackhammers and backhoes which will eventually go away, hopefully while you still have some fine summer weather for sitting outside. We’ve had a succession of neighbours renting the house next door to us and the thing that makes me most crazy is the neighbours who “fix” cars which seems to involve revving the engine as loudly as possible and driving up and down the road before doing it again. But why do they never fix the muffler? Previous neighbour had a dog that barked a lot but the poor thing was hardly ever allowed inside with the family when they were at home. Of course it barked, it was lonely. I felt sorry for the dog but I hated them.

    1. I can understand the car revving getting on your nerves. It seems like the unnecessary noises are the most annoying. Our old neighbors used to “warm up” their noisy truck for 30-45 minutes every morning. I swear our whole house vibrated the whole time the thing ran. Drove me crazy!

  4. That’s such a bummer that the workers trimmed those branches and now you have to look at that ugly yellow house. I hate when the city takes it upon themselves to do stuff like that here. They once came along and hacked off some of the branches of our apple blossom out on the boulevard which wasn’t even anywhere near the power lines, and it looked hideous afterwards. :/ Hope it quiets down around there for you soon…

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