The long hot summer will be noisier than usual in Cambridge this year.
Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) officials told the Cambridge City Council last night that construction work on two Logan Airport runways will increase the number of planes flying over the city from late May to mid-July.
It's very hard to estimate how big the jump will be--it's my guess it will be less dramatic than 50 per cent," Richard Lettieri, acting manager of the Massport Noise Abatement Office, said last night. There will not be an increase in night flights, Lettieri added.
The Massport officials promised to monitor noise levels in Cambridge over the next few months in order to establish a "benchmark noise level."
"I want some kind of a figure so we can look back in a few years and see if the noise has increased," Councilor David Wylie told the council.
"In a congested, noisy city, sometimes even a small increase can be the straw that breaks the camel's back." Wylie said. "The noise does make people nervous," Wylie added, saying he had recently received several phone calls complaining about flyovers.
Massport official Richard Baldwin blamed an increase in planes over Cambridge during this winter's cold snap to prevailing northwest winds. "This summer shouldn't be as bad as that period," Baldwin added.
Planes fly over the city at 4000 to 5000 feet Lettieri said. City dwellers hear between 70 and 80 decibels of noise from jets at that altitude, he added.
Continual west winds are the city's only hope for a quiet summer. Richard Markey of the noise abatement office said. "That is unlikely though, especially during that time of year," he added