ST. AUGUSTINE Fla.-- Ron Radford says he lives at Salt Run because of its peacefulness. But right now his yard along the intracoastal sounds more like downtown.
"It was enough that it would wake you up and you couldn't sleep," said Radford.
Action News has learned that the racket at Salt Run is coming from a $2.3 million Army Corps of Engineers project to replenish the beaches at Anastasia State Park. The pumping perpetuates all day and all night and will last for 60 days.
"People are very aware that it's there and they're very aware at 3 a.m. that it's there," said Brendan Burke, who also lives along Salt Run.
Now neighbors are sounding off about the noise. They say they're supportive of the dredging project and that they know it needs to be done, but they don't understand why it can't be completed more quietly.
"It's the simple matter of making it a little less impactful to the environment," said Burke. "Proper sound muffling, light baffling or light abatement and noise reduction is really what we're looking for."
Action News reached out to the Florida Inland Navigation District, a state partner with the Army Corps of Engineers, to see what they were doing to solve the problem.
They said "the contractor is compliant with all federal, state and city regulations regarding noise, which is under 85 decibels."
But why does the Army Corps have to run the rig through the night? They said, "That's the most efficient way to operate a dredge...they need to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
That's little solace for Radford, who's tired from arguing and a week of sleepless nights.
"We want them to relook at what could be done with the noise that's generated by their current configuration," he said.
A piece of plywood was put in front of the engine to deflect some of the noise, but neighbors say that's done little to help. They also looked into moving the pump onto Conch Island, a man-made island further from the shore, but a protected species of mouse lives there. Neighbors say they at least deserve as much consideration as a mouse.
A group of Salt Run neighbors have written a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers to see if anything more can be done to muffle the noise.