WOBURN (CBS) – The blasting has begun in Woburn on an apartment project the city has fought for years. It’s called the Ledges at Woburn, and neighbors may feel the effects for a long time. It’s a 9 acre pile of ledge right now with heavy equipment prowling the top, but when it’s finished it will be an apartment complex with 168 units, some of them in the affordable category.
Blasting began last month, and it’s not just people who live next to the site who are feeling it. “All of a sudden it sounded like a bomb had dropped,” says Marissa Varey. That happened when she and her two-year-old son Jack were in their house about a half mile from the Woburn site, in Wilmington.
Damage done. “I noticed in the center of the house I had multiple cracks that showed up. It cracked the entire doorway and it extends into our hallway onto the ceiling,” she says.
That was from one blast, and here’s the thing, residents are worried the blasting could last for as long as two years, followed by another two years of construction.
“This one here is taking such a long time because they have to blast so much rock out of the mountain,” says Mike Raymond. Mike and Linda Raymond live in the north Woburn neighborhood next to the site. They started the Woburn Neighborhood Association to push back. “This destroys the health, safety and welfare of the whole neighborhood for the foreseeable future,” Mike says.
There have also been complaints about truck noise and exhaust, dust and traffic. The Raymonds are collecting complaints in hopes of creating a case against the project. “I’m fighting this because I live within 500 feet. I’m a neighbor. I care about my neighborhood,” says Linda Raymond.
But this is a tough one to fight because it’s covered under the 40B law, which allows for dense housing construction as long as a percentage of the units are affordable. The host community has very little control over the project. In fact the city of Woburn fought the plan from the start, but lost their case in a number of courts.
We also reached out to the development company behind the project, but we didn’t hear back.