Advanced Prediction and Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise

It is important to understand the contribution of noise sources other than the highway in order to determine the total noise exposure in an area, for both "existing" and "after" conditions. This understanding permits an estimate of the relative impact of highway noise, and also permits one to evaluate the benefits of highway noise control actions. For example, if aircraft noise exposure is equal to highway noise exposure, reducing highway noise by 15 dB through construction of a noise barrier reduces the total noise level by only 3 dB. Thus, constructing the barrier is not a very cost-effective action. On the other hand, if there is a railroad line adjacent to the highway, it may be possible to develop a noise barrier design which provides shielding to the community for both highway and railroad sources, thus providing a meaningful reduction in the total noise environment if the rail noise exposure is significant. This section will cover predictions of noise exposure for several common sources at critical receiver locations. Why do we not just measure the noise levels from these sources? Unlike highways, many transportation systems exhibit considerable variability over a 24-hour period, making measurement of the noise exposure for just a few key hours unrealistic. Further, for some sources there is considerable variability from day to day, making it difficult to select the proper day for making measurements. Finally, to evaluate "after" conditions, some sources may be expected to change with time, so predictions are necessary for future conditions. In this section prediction procedures will be provided for general community noise, railroad line operations noise, and the noise of civil aircraft flight operations.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This is the recreation of a section of a document originally published in June 1982. The section recreated is on non-highway noise sources.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Office of Environmental Policy, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 2016-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 25p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766236
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Jan 26 2021 4:57PM