‘People are upset’: Worcester construction project suspended after residents complain of damage

WORCESTER, Mass. — Residents in the Poet Hill neighborhood of Worcester said they’re outraged at the mess a local construction company is leaving behind.

“The roads are getting destroyed,” resident Terry Richardson said.

Construction for the Poet Hill Residences on Hemans St. started late last year. For weeks, homeowners have accused Bridgewater-based Callahan Construction Managers of being sloppy and destructive. Neighbors say an endless parade of large trucks and equipment has damaged yards, road signs, curbs and driveways.

Sonia Scanlon on Willis St. said a truck kicked up a rock and cracked her windshield.

“They’re huge trucks. They’re massive, so of course they’re going to create damage,” Scanlon said.

District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson met with residents Wednesday night to hear their concerns. In response to the complaints, the city said the project will be suspended pending a review.

“The superintendent of the project has volunteered to suspend all activities while we work with the contractor to review the project’s operations and concerns of the residents,” said a spokesperson from City Manager Eric Batista’s office.

Callahan Construction Managers said it is working with the city and Poet Hill residents.

“The project is in a tight urban location with access constraints. We have and will continue to actively communicate with the city and residents while doing our best to minimize any disruption to the neighborhood,” a Callahan Construction spokesperson said.

SMC Management, owners of the five-acre site, did not respond to a request for comment. Richardson said homeowners were told the construction project is slated to last two years.

“We didn’t know how much force was coming. There’s a lot of force up here and this is just the start of it,” Richardson said.

Scanlon said crews should do a better job cleaning up after themselves.

“People are upset. They’re angry,’ she said. “When you leave, don’t leave it more destroyed than how you found it.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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