Homeowners claim blasting is damaging homes

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) Reoccurring blasts to break rock to get to what will be the hospitals lowest level has been ongoing for months.
But some people living in nearby neighborhoods are saying the blasts have been so violent that it’s damaging their homes.

“About a month ago as I was pulling into the garage I could see a crack above the door and probably two weeks after that it got a little bit worse because its working its way to the roof line.”

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David Arnold is one of many people in the Tuscany neighborhood with that claim…the neighborhood is about a half a mile away from the construction site.
He says he is certain it’s from the blasting.

“Some people might say its settling and all that, but these houses have been built for ten years or more, and all these people having this at the same time, this kind of damage you know, it seems pretty obvious it’s the blasting.”

Rudy Lesshaft, Arnold’s neighbor, captured one of the blasts on video.

He says the blasts are cracking concrete, crown molding, and separating planks on wood floors in his home.

Photo Courtesy: Rudy Lesshaft

“It’s not destroying the houses, but it’s making it hard for people who have spent a lot of money out here to look at their home and say wow, I’ve got to pay for this again?” said Lesshaft.

Lesshaft says he, along with others experiencing damage, have filed complaints and contacted the construction company. He says the company did send someone to take pictures and videos of the damage….but he’s just hoping the company and state will take responsibility.

“I hope they take care of everybody out here and I hope they don’t waste too much time doing it.”

The blasting is projected to stop at the end of May according to Baptist Health.

Baptist health representatives provided the following statement, saying:

“Council members Plomin and Kloiber post in the Next Door app if there is an unexpected time change for the blasting, although it normally occurs each weekday at 3 pm. Investigations have shown all blasting is within the permitted limits and no damages have occurred because of the blasting. All state guidelines are being met. We are looking forward to the end of May when we project the daily blasting will cease and moving on to the next phase of this exciting project.”

ABC 36 also reached out to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. The Cabinet provided the following statement.

Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman places the highest priority on the health and safety of Kentuckians and the cabinet works every day to achieve the highest levels of a transparency and responsiveness in government. The Department for Natural Resources is aware of blasting complaints related to the construction at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington. Officials with the Division of Mining and Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) have been working with all interested parties to see that the blasting is done safely and within standards set by state regulations. DMRE has conducted six inspections at the site during which they checked blasting records and seismograph readings taken by the blasting company, Walker Construction. No violations were found. To have its own records, the DMRE on Jan. 5, 2021, placed two seismographs at strategic locations near the construction site. Weekly checks of those seismograph readings showed all blasting was within the regulatory limits. The seismographs will remain on site for the duration of the project. “

The Cabinet also provided some background to the blasting.

“DMRE’s Explosives and Blasting Branch responds to all public complaints that concern ground vibrations, noise, flyrock and other adverse effects of blasting. The investigation of these complaints involves inspection of the operation generating the complaint and extensive seismic monitoring.  As of May 4, 2021, the division has received and responded to 17 complaints about the blasting at the hospital site, has responded and will continue to monitor the project to ensure compliance.”