Earlier today, there was a solid "no" issued to the Cubs when they suggested they wanted to work "24/7" on the Wrigley construction project. That was followed by a team request to have hours extended by two hours before and after the city's usual 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. construction hours:
Late Tuesday, even that was rejected, according to an updated version of Fran Spielman's earlier Sun-Times article:
Cubs’ spokesman Julian Green responded to the mayoral rejection with a modified request. “An official letter of request has been submitted to the Department of Buildings to request a variance to the City noise ordinance and allow construction work, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. We will work with the city and our community to understand the issues and constraints. In the meantime, we’re going to continue to get as much as work done as possible,” Green wrote in an emailed statement. “We understand and respect the mayor’s perspective. Our interest has always been in working as hard as we can and getting as much work done as possible in a short time frame. But we understand we also need to be conscious of the impact on our neighbors.” The answer was the same: No. City Hall sources said exemptions to city limits on construction hours are confined to “emergencies and certain public improvement projects like roads and other infrastructure projects in the public way.” Wrigley Field does not fit any of those criteria. That means an exemption could only be granted by the City Council. “City ordinance is clear. The request made by the Cubs for any type of expanded hours is not allowed under city code,” Buildings Department spokesperson Mimi Simon wrote in an email.
The article went on to quote Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th), who has been a point person between the city and the Cubs on the project, as saying the request was "poorly timed" and "politically untenable."
So, the Cubs will have to make do with the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours allowed by city ordinance. Fortunately for the team, the weather forecast calls for much warmer conditions beginning Friday, with temperatures possibly well into the 40s by early next week. That should help. I suspect the Cubs will have to bring on extra workers as well.