A road works firm is carrying out an internal investigation after its workers were caught sleeping on the side of the road and urinating in public during a late-night job.

Devonport residents complained after "horrendous", noisy roadworks kept them awake until after 3am today. They also raised concerns about the behaviour of some of the workers at the site.

One man named Mike, who asked his last name not be used, lives with his wife in an apartment on Wynyard St in Devonport.

Last night they arrived home around 8.30pm to find heavy machines with flashing lights ripping up and relaying the tarmac on their street.

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The Fulton Hogan-branded machinery included one grinding up tarmac, another with a brush blowing dust away, a tarmac-laying machine, a road roller and at least three tipper trucks, Mike said. Workers were also using pickaxes.

When he looked out the window just after 2am to take pictures, he saw at least two workers lying on the pavement, hands behind their heads, and a third urinating against a machine in the middle of the road.

"There were multiple guys and girls in high-vis vests - and hard hats - with torches, obviously concerned about their own health and safety - but they didn't give a rat's arse about residents' health or amenity," Mike said.

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Auckland Transport spokeswoman Natalie Polley said Fulton Hogan had been granted approval to carry out the road works overnight, and that residents were notified last week.

"The nature of road works means we are often required to work during the night, in order to minimise disruption, as the streets are too busy during the day," she said.

Polley said Auckland Transport had asked Fulton Hogan to investigate the claims by residents about workers' behaviour.

"We have high expectations around the behaviour of our teams, and certainly do not condone the behaviour being witnessed last night at this site."

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Fulton Hogan Auckland regional manager Gavin Riddle confirmed the company would be following up on Auckland Transport's request.

The work didn't end till 3.25am. Despite closing all the windows and cranking their fan on loud, Mike and his wife lay awake, but he declined to head downstairs to complain.

"Had I gone down to them somebody would have ended up in jail."

However his downstairs neighbour, Tony McNeight, couldn't ignore the noise - the machines were 2 metres away from where he lay in bed.

"The noise and vibration in the building was unbelievable. I went downstairs and said 'What's going on here?' "

The workers were polite but were "just doing their job", so McNeight complained to noise control - who declined to help because the work had a permit. At 1am he called the council again and was promised a response within 24 hours.

McNeight got to sleep at 4am; his wife hasn't slept.

"It was seriously like a war zone - there were lights spinning, caterpillars, trucks, the occasional horn going. People don't realise, they're talking away over the sound of it, and I was literally 2m away."

The view from Mike's apartment just after 2am today. Photo / Supplied
The view from Mike's apartment just after 2am today. Photo / Supplied

Both men said they hadn't received notification of the planned roadworks - however a cafe down the road had received a notice warning of minor inconvenience caused by dust.

Auckland Transport apologised that some people had been disturbed because they had not received the notification about the road works.

Mike has contacted local councillor Chris Darby and has complained to Auckland Transport, who told him works were planned until the 22nd, although most of the area outside their apartments appears finished.

"It was done quickly but obviously to the detriment of everyone working on street," he said.

Auckland Council's rules around noisy construction and maintenance work says such work should cease in residential areas overnight.

"We're probably zoned as a mixed-use area," Mike said - "but I don't know that that gives Auckland Transport the right to basically shaft us of sleep".