TxDOT Tests Plastic Sound Barrier Along I-30 in Dallas

Residents hope pilot project reduces noise from busy highway

By Omar Villafranca
|  Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013  |  Updated 11:22 PM CDT
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TxDOT Tests Plastic Sound Barrier on I-30

NBC 5 News

The see-through sound barrier includes roughly 2,400 linear feet of the plastic that runs from North Edgefield to Sylvan avenues.

State road crews have been installing what looks like a glass window on a busy stretch of Interstate 30 in Dallas.

The see-through sound barrier includes roughly 2,400 linear feet of the plastic that runs from North Edgefield to Sylvan avenues.

"It looks like an ice hockey rink," Mitchell said. "I was very surprised to see these big plastic walls."

The Texas Department of Transportation wants to test the durability of the plastic and its effectiveness at reducing noise, spokesman Tony Hartzel said.

The $900,000 pilot project was approved by the government but state money is paying for it. Because it is the first of its kind in Texas, the department will keep tabs on the price of maintaining the barrier as part of a cost-efficiency study, Hartzel said.

Nearby residents just hope the barrier works.

Stevens, who lives just yards from I-30, said the noise was almost unbearable when he first moved into his home.

"It took us two months to be able to sleep and sort of get used to it, where it's white noise," he said.

Stevens said his family hears all the noise from wrecks, big trucks and loud cars and bikes on that stretch of I-30.

In the three years he's been in his house, TxDOT has tried several different methods to quiet the noise, from material on the road to different barriers, he said.

"If this doesn't reduce the noise -- they have their standards -- we'd like them to try the fourth thing and then the fifth," Stevens said. "We just want to be the guinea pig until they find something that is the miracle cure."

TxDOT crews should finish installing the barrier in a few weeks.

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