Far-Field Testing of Noise Wall Effectiveness: Survey of State Practice and Literature Scan

Local Minnesota transportation officials have received complaints that new highway sound walls along I-35W have increased noise, reaching residents 1,500 feet from the highway. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and local engineers don’t believe increased noise is scientifically possible following the installation of noise walls; residents are more likely reacting to the increased noise when a lengthy construction project ceases and full highway traffic is restored. However, neither MnDOT nor local agencies currently conduct actual noise level testing at distances greater than 400 feet from the noise wall. Before performing a formal investigation involving such “far-field” testing to confirm MnDOT’s view that far-field noise levels do not increase with the installation of noise walls, CTC & Associates was asked to review noise wall testing research and guidance, and contact national experts to determine whether such testing has been performed elsewhere. The scope of this investigation also includes determining how other state departments of transportation have responded to similar complaints. This review doesn’t include noise generated by reflection between parallel barriers; Minnesota is investigating this issue by other means.


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  • Accession Number: 01601690
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 1:24PM