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LOW BERM MEASURING AND MODELING RESEARCH
Low berms that mitigate noise are less expensive to construct and
maintain than structural concrete and fiberglass noise walls, but there is a
limited amount of available information about the comparative effectiveness of low
berms (6’ tall or less), especially related to acoustic benefits. Determining the acoustic benefits of low
berms and the difference between structural noise barriers and taller earth
berms is essential to guiding future noise mitigation implementation
Field test and model low berms and document the results. Compare the measured and modeled
results. Compare the results to typical structural
noise barrier results.
The proposed work plan to address the
project goals includes at least the following activities:
Search: A literature search of existing research will be performed to determine
the results of previous studies on the acoustic and cost benefits of low berms
compared to structural noise barriers.
Testing & Field Documentation: Follow the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
guidance and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Highway Traffic Noise
Analysis Manual guidance on noise measurements.Field test up to 15 low berm locations.
Data Analysis & Scenario Modeling: Tabulate the results from the field work
into a spreadsheet and analyze the data. Identify patterns in the data and
summarize. Model low berm locations in
TNM2.5 and compare results to the field data.Compare the results of this study to other similar studies done by Ohio
DOT and Caltrans.
Benefit Analysis: Utilizing available information and current unit costs,
perform a cost/benefit analysis, comparing low berms to structural noise walls,
to determine which option is more cost effective. Costs should include
construction and maintenance.
Report: Prepare a
report that includes all of the information, results, and conclusions from the
Anticipated deliverables include the draft and revised final project
report as well as quarterly reports describing the progress of the study. The
final project report will include a detailed description of all project
activities and recommendations. Another deliverable for this project will be
the comprehensive database of low berms.
A PowerPoint presentation will also be developed which can be used to
report the results of the research study to DOT and other interested
Successfully utilizing the results of this study could result in a significant annual costs savings for noise barrier construction and noise barrier maintenance. These savings will compound over time as low berms are constructed in place of structural noise walls. In addition, there may be qualitative benefits related to a better quality of life for the adjacent residents, motorists, and wildlife that interact with the low berm (versus the structural wall).
|Sponsoring Committee:||AEP80, Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration
|Research Period:||6 - 12 months|
|RNS Developer:||Noel Alcala|
|Index Terms:||Berms, Acoustics, Traffic noise, Noise barriers, |
Bridges and other structures
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