Anticipated Noise Impacts Near New US 31

Noise levels in the general area of the New US 31 are predicted to range from the high 50 decibels (dBAs) range to as much as 79 dBAs. Preliminary analysis included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) recommended two noise barriers along US 31 near the northern portion of the corridor.

These two barriers, referred to as Barriers 13 and 14, were approximately located between Kern Road and Jackson Road. Additionally, the FEIS recommended two other locations in the same general area be given further consideration during the design phase as they fell just below INDOTs cost reasonableness criteria for a barrier. The barriers associated with these two locations were referred to as Barrier 15 and Barrier 18.

Barrier 18, which was located on the north side of US 20 and east of US 31, was dismissed from further consideration when the reconstruction of the US 20/US 31 interchange was eliminated from the project.

The final analysis of the three remaining barriers (13, 14 and 15) was completed in February 2012. The analysis fulfilled the FEIS commitment, but also re-evaluated the predicted effectiveness of each barrier against INDOT's current noise policy, which defines the standards where noise barriers should be constructed. The results of that analysis determined that all three barriers met INDOT's criteria of feasibility. However, all three fell below the cost per benefited receptor threshold of $30,000 per benefited receptor. As such, all three barriers were dismissed from further consideration.

While no mitigation for noise impacts was warranted, it should be noted that the FEIS indicates that under the No-Build scenari,o traffic volumes would continue to impact all front row receivers within 200 to 300 feet of the centerline, depending upon location.

The preliminary results of the final analysis were conveyed to the public at an open house held on May 17, 2011. FHWA concurred with the recommendations of the final analysis on April 2, 2012. Click here to view the complete final analysis.

Click here to learn more about the noise wall process.


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