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Sound Wall Fails to Mitigate Noise Pollution for Some

A newly constructed sound wall has not brought much relief to residents living along the 210.

A roughly $22 million sound wall along the 210 Freeway has done little to mitigate traffic-related noise or pollution, some residents say.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Caltrans, county and city officials gathered at the Victory Chapel parking lot Monday to celebrate the completion of the Measure R-funded sound wall project, the construction of which began three years ago.

The wall runs along a 2-mile stretch of the eastbound and westbound 210 Freeway between Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia and California Avenue in Monrovia.

It reduces freeway noise by 5 decibels, officials say.

"This has been a long term project for the city of Arcadia to get relief from that sound," Mayor Bob Harbicht told the crowd.

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz noted most of her city is comprised of residential neighborhoods.

"We all talk about water pollution, air pollution," she said. "Noise pollution is just as important and just as devastating to our community. So, this is something that will go a long way in the communities of Monrovia and in Arcadia to help our residents with the noise pollution that they have been living with."

However, Joni Lucarelli, who lives just off of the Forest Avenue off-ramp, says the sound wall has done nothing to improve her situation.

"It made things worse," she said, pointing out that the sound wall does not extend along her off-ramp. Drivers can look directly into Lucarelli's bedroom windows.

"There's no privacy," she said. As she spoke, a light breeze kicked up dust along the unlandscaped off-ramp.

Lucarelli's neighbor, Nancy Kazek, says the incomplete sound wall has created an "amphitheater-like" effect and actually raised noise levels.

Luckily, a new $700 million project may bring Lucarelli and others some relief. The project includes completion of the sound wall along the Forest Avenue off-ramp as part of a plan to add 3.8 miles of sound wall in various Arcadia and Pasadena neighborhoods.

Metro Board of Director and Duarte Mayor John Fasana said the project will be funded by public and private partnerships so that construction can begin in 2013 instead of 2023.

Fansana said the Package 10 project will go before Metro's Planning and Programming Committee for approval Wednesday afternoon.

Ellen Zunino July 18, 2012 at 01:37 AM
All the sound walls do is bounce the sound up and away from residences and businesses close to the freeway. It used to be wonderfully, blessedly quiet up here on this south-facing slope until 1. they built in noise reduction down at the car race track off the 605, 2. they built the sound walls along the 210 in Duarte and, finally, 3. many new residents moved in with their entourages of hired help and need for off-day trash pick-up. Now, on beautiful mornings we open the windows or go out on the patio to relax and hear the rumble of traffic on the 210 oftentimes clearly hearing trucks down-shifting and on those nights they have heats and races down in Irwindale, we hear the revving and vrooming engines and the noise of them going around the track. I've grown to love foggy mornings because the fog damps the freeway noise. Combine all of this with those days we have heavy helicopter traffic overhead (along with the usual intermittent jet noise), the new residents' many contractors and other hired helpers, running equipment and/or racing up and down the street all day, the Athens trucks rumbling up and down the street on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and the very speedy and very loud UPS truck that's up and then down the street on most weekdays and our lovely peace and quiet is nothing but a memory.
Hard Truth July 18, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Do people not notice that there's a freeway there when then move in? Crybabies..
Natalie Ragus (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I think sometimes when you're house hunting during the day, the noise just doesn't register. People are used to noise all around them during the day and just kind of tune it out. However, I think the noise really registers once you've bought a house near the freeway and now you're living there and trying to sleep at night or are trying to put your baby down for a nap.
The Sound Man February 05, 2013 at 10:11 PM
There is a substantial difference between "reflective" soundwalls and "Absorptive" soundwalls. There are companies approved in California for Sound Absorption. You need to ensure this is spec'd in by Metro when they plan these projects.

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