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ITD to hold community meeting on Interstate noise walls

Posted: 12:57 PM, Oct 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-07 15:07:59-04

CANYON COUNTY, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department is making plans for three new noise walls along Interstate 84 -- as a part of a multi-year study of improvements in Canyon County.

ITD proposed four locations for noise walls.

Those locations and the results [itd.idaho.gov] of votes from those who would benefit from them are:

The walls will be located:
•Along eastbound I-84 adjacent to the Indian Creek Estates
•Along the westbound on-ramp at Franklin Road
•Along westbound I-84 between Centennial Way and 10th Ave.

ITD initially proposed four locations for the walls, and asked area residents who would benefit from them to vote on whether to approve or deny the walls.

The only wall residents turned down was one proposed for eastbound I-84 between Centennial Way and 10th Avenue.

ITD has scheduled a community meeting on Oct. 17th and has invited members of the community to ask questions about the project. The meeting will be held at the Caldwell Best Western (on 908 Specht Ave.) between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

“The decision whether or not to build noise walls belongs to those adjacent owners and residents who are shown to be affected by future traffic noise,” said ITD Transportation Program Manager Amy Schroeder. “ITD’s role is to model the change in noise levels to determine who is a benefited receptor, follow state and federal noise policies, and facilitate the decision-making process.”

A noise analysis was conducted earlier this year to determine the increase in traffic noise from adding a third lane in each direction on I-84. The next step was to confirm whether noise walls would reduce sound by 5 decibels or more. Human speech ranges from 50 to 65 decibels; traffic noise ranges from 70 to 80 decibels, experts say.

The noise study also identified specific properties -- or “receptors” -- that would benefit from mitigation measures such as a wall. These property owners were invited to vote on the walls through an extensive balloting process in July and August 2019.

For a noise wall to be approved, ITD policy states that more than 50 percent of affected property owners must vote “yes.” If the property owner vote is 50 percent or fewer, then affected residents are invited to vote. Resident votes must be greater than75 percent to overturn the owners’ “no” vote.

The walls will be designed using concrete panels between twelve feet and sixteen feet tall.

ITD is investing more than $330 million into Interstate 84 in Canyon County over the next several years.

More information about the I-84 expansion is available at itdprojects.org/84corridor.

(Photo courtesy: ITD)