Parishioners: Riverhead construction damaging church

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RIVERHEAD -

Members of a historic church in Riverhead are concerned about a construction project they say is causing damage to their parish.

They say construction to build an apartment complex on Main Street is wreaking havoc on the United Methodist Church. Pile drivers that are being used on the site have caused damage to the church's balcony and walls and left cracks along the ceiling, residents say.

Barbara Damm, the head trustee of the church, says she is worried the construction may cause permanent damage. Church leaders are also concerned about the gravestones, some of which date back to the Revolutionary War.

Arlene Doroszka, who lives in the home next door to the church, says she is seeing damage to her more than 100-year-old home. Doroszka says cracks in her walls appeared shortly after the work began.

Church leaders hired an engineering firm to take a look at the damage. The firm blamed the damage on the walls, ceiling and balcony on the construction.

However, the developer tells News 12 an engineering study was conducted and found the damage was not related to construction. He also said vibration monitors were installed in the house and church, and show that the levels reached are not high enough to cause structural damage.

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