Overnight utility work starts outside Edgerton House

Site not managed by MIT, work will continue for four weeks

Overnight utility work by Eversource Electric started Monday on Albany Street outside Edgerton House, a graduate student dorm, and will continue for the next four weeks. Residents have raised concerns about the noise and vibration possibly disrupting sleep. 

Options for temporary housing and other accommodations are available to Edgerton residents but are limited in space. Because the construction is independent of MIT operations, there is little Housing and Residential Services (HRS) and the Division of Student Life can do other than advocating for Edgerton’s residents.

In an email to Edgerton House residents last Friday, Dennis Collins, director of capital renewal and renovation in the DSL, informed residents of the work and wrote that they “should anticipate hearing some noise and feel some vibration during this three-week project.”

“There’s no good-faith effort by MIT to try to curb the fact that they were going to do this overnight construction,” said Chris Lloyd G, a resident of Edgerton, in an interview with The Tech Monday.

“I felt like there should have been a longer period of time where students were warned,” said Lloyd, who was offered a noise machine, which “was only made available to me when I reached out.”

In an email to The Tech Tuesday, Alex Joerger G, vice-president of the Graduate Student Council, wrote that the “GSC has not been informed about the overnight construction or potential disturbances for student life.”

In an email to The Tech Wednesday, David Friedrich, senior associate dean in HRS, wrote that HRS is “in touch with the project team to get updates and advocate for residents living near the worksite.”

Collins wrote in a follow-up email to Edgerton House residents Tuesday that “housing can be arranged in other parts of campus on a case-by-case basis utilizing a limited number of units that are currently vacant. While space is not unlimited, we want to be responsive to those whose circumstances warrant it.”

Graduate residents can still arrange for accommodations. Collins, in the follow-up email, explained that students “who are in distress after hours (5pm-9am or on weekends) should call the Dean on Call” for a place to sleep for the night.

“It appears that the overnight construction is not connected to Edgerton in-house work, but construction on Albany Street itself,” Joerger wrote in his email. “According to our source, the City of Cambridge does not allow to close Albany during the day, so work seems to be scheduled for 7 pm to 5 am.”

According to Collins’ email Tuesday, the utility work would consist of digging pits with vac trucks, which generates noise. “The project will start at Cross Street and work toward Mass Ave, so it will move away from Edgerton as it progresses,” Collins wrote.

“Because this is a public utility project, however, neither HRS nor DSL have control over Eversource’s plans,” Friedrich wrote in an email statement to The Tech Wednesday.