Noise Study

A final design noise study was prepared for the Route 202 Section 300 Improvement Project, to determine if noise abatement measures would be warranted. For abatement measures deemed to be warranted, a further analysis was performed to determine whether these measures would be feasible and reasonable according to PENNDOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) criteria. The final design noise study analysis was approved by the FHWA in 2003.

For this analysis, ambient noise monitoring was conducted throughout the S.R. 0202, Section 300 corridor. This data was used to develop a model using the FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model and to calibrate the model. The calibrated model was used to predict the sound levels that would result from the project. Projected traffic data was used to predict future sound levels. Modeled existing sound levels range from 47 to 73 dBA and future sound levels range from 53 to 76 dBA. There were increases resulting from the project ranging from 0 to 14 dBA.

The sound levels from the future year were compared to the existing year sound levels using PennDOT's warrants criteria for sound levels to determine if there would be any noise impacts. Noise barriers would be warranted if future noise levels exceed 66 dBA or if there is a substantial increase over existing conditions. The existing conditions ranged from 10 to 15 dBA, based on a sliding scale. The study area was broken down into 15 Noise Sensitive Areas (NSA). Thirteen of these NSAs were found to warrant noise mitigation measures.

Eight stretches of sound barriers were recommended to reduce the sound levels for the residences within the 13 affected NSAs. These barrier systems benefit more than 700 residences, with a total length of approximately 7.3 miles and an average height of 17 feet.

In January and February of 2003, PENNDOT held meetings with affected residents in each of the NSAs. The meetings were held to share the results of the final design noise analysis, indicate proposed locations of sound barriers, and to gather the communities' preference for having the barriers built and the preferred finish on the residential sid of the barriers. The results of these meetings are as follows: 

 

East Whiteland Township communities
Selected Noise Barrier Treatment
Residents along Lockwood Lane, Swedesford Rd & Planebrook residential areaexposed aggregate
Residential areas along Swedesford Rd & Chester Valley Rail Trailexposed aggregate
Bryn Erin residential areaexposed aggregate
Spring Mill Farms residential areaexposed aggregate
Mill Lane / Chester Valley Knoll / Downeast castle stone
Penn State Great Valley Campusexposed aggregate
Tredyffrin Township communities
Selected Noise Barrier Treatment
Glen Craig / Cedar Hollow residential areastandard dry stack
Residential areas east of Cedar Hollow Rd & south of Swedesford Rdstandard dry stack