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Chicago Construction Noise Laws

Posted by Echo Barrier on Jun 14, 2021 7:40:00 AM
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Like in most big cities, the last thing anyone wants is to be woken up at dawn with jackhammering sounds echoing throughout the neighborhood. Construction noise, with little to no restrictions, can cause excessive health damage – this was one of the main reasons for the implementation of the Chicago noise ordinance.  


Is there a law regulating construction work in Chicago?

Absolutely – this is mostly due to noise and vibrations construction projects may produce affecting others. For instance, if you have any demolition, building, repair, or construction projects underway, you cannot use any mechanical equipment or tools using electric power or fuel past the construction curfew, meaning operating these tools between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m is prohibited.

As a construction worker, you can work from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless sunset happens earlier than that. However, this is only for weekdays as construction can start one hour later than usual on Saturdays and end early by at least three hours (8 a.m-5 p.m). Additionally, commercial construction is barred from taking place on Sundays and holidays.

However, there’s an exemption from this rule. If your construction project is an emergency, then the rule doesn’t apply to you. The same applies if you are working for a government-authorized public improvement construction project.


What is the penalty for violation?

The penalty varies depending on the number of times you violated the ordinance within one year from the last. Additionally, each day you break the regulation, it constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

Moreover, you are liable for a penalty of at least $1,000, but no more than $2,500, if it’s your first violation. If you violate the rules a second time less than a year from the first offense, you are liable for a penalty of at least $2,500 but not exceeding $5,000. For the third violation, you are liable for at least $5,000 but not exceeding $10,000 if it happens in less than a year of the previous subsequent breaches.


What about residential construction?

If you are working on your own home, you are free to work between seven in the morning until nine in the evening from Monday to Saturday. However, on Sunday, you can pick up your construction work from 10 in the morning until 6 p.m.  Even so, if you have any emergencies that may risk your home’s safety, such as repairing damages, construction is permitted.



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