Exhausted residents living along a major suburban thoroughfare say they feel "like prisoners" after being subjected to more than a year of constant roadworks, that have taken place just outside their homes for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Locals at Penshurst, in south Sydney — about 17 kilometres from the CBD — say that construction on King Georges Road has dragged on for more than 12 months and there's still no end in sight. They say the noise at all hours of the day, in addition to constant exposure to pollution from the worksite, is "killing us".
Work to widen the strip from three lanes to six commenced in 2022 and is expected to be completed by January 2024, with residents six months ago having lost access to their driveways. Now, they fear Christmas could be jeopardised if they don't have access back in time for the festive season.
With a bulk of the work being conducted at night, locals have also begged authorities to reconsider construction hours so they can sleep.
Penshurst residents 'feel like prisoners' in their own home
"It's killing us the amount of noise, the amount of pollution, the amount of interruptions," resident Charlie Jin told A Current Affair, who has lived on the street for 12 years.
The Jin family have an electric vehicle which they claim they can no longer charge at home, with no access to the outlet from the street.
"We live in our own house as prisoners," Jin said through tears.
A group of angry locals have gathered this week to issue a complaint to council over the conditions they've been forced to live with.
"The government puts money and profit over people, that's what it's all about," a local known as Chris said.
"None of us sleep well," another local, Moira, lamented. "You can literally feel the house shake when they drop their equipment."
She also complained of the constant work it takes to clean the dust from her property.
Fatmy Bazzi, who lives adjacent to Jin, claimed that her family hasn't had a good night's sleep in months, with the dust from the construction impacting her asthma.
"We understand this needs to be done so they can make the streets better. But it's just taking so long," Bazzi said. "I think they can inconvenience and close the streets during the day. So people can get sleep during the night because at night, it's just terrible."
Officials say residents 'should' regain driveway access soon
Executive Director at Transport for NSW Steven Issa said that — weather permitting —residents should get access to their driveways back before Christmas.
"We will continue to work with residents to find a solution, alternate accommodation when noise is at its worst and meet their needs more broadly whilst we get through the remainder of the project," he said.
"Unfortunately there's just some things that can't be done during the day for safety reasons in the area that's required to work in."
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