State transportation officials announced June 19 that a stretch of Interstate 405 in Bellevue has been selected for a noise reduction test using different types of pavements.
The test will begin in 2007 and cover a segment of freeway running from 112th Avenue SE to SE 8th Street, a distance of about three and a half miles, the officials said.
The test will focus on experimenting with different types of “quieter” pavements utilizing asphalt and Portland cement concrete, and applying them using various techniques.
The decision to conduct the noise reduction test on I-405 comes as the issue of highway noise ands its impact on neighborhoods continues to receive major attention by the Bellevue City Council and some resident groups.
In recent weeks, City Council members have encouraged the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to work with city staff to study new technologies that could address noise levels in neighborhoods.
Councilmembers have said such research is especially warranted now as the city continues working with state and regional agencies to seek major highway and mass transit improvements to accommodate existing and future transportation needs.
Last week, Councilmembers unanimously passed a resolution calling for WSDOT to aggressively pursue noise reduction strategies to improve the noise environment for neighborhoods next to major highways to levels below current state and federal guidelines.
“Obviously, we’re pleased that the state recognizes that highway noise is a significant issue and has chosen I-405 in our city to conduct one of its tests,” said Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger. “This is a very serious issue that affects the quality of life for our neighborhoods, and it demands some very serious attention.”
Besides I-405, five other test zones on Interstates 90 and 5, and State Route 520, have been chosen by state officials for noise reduction tests using experimental pavement types.
By working with new pavement types, transportation engineers hope to measure initial noise reduction, the reduction of noise over time and the long-term performance of the specific type of experimental pavement tested.
The tests will be conducted over a five-year period, and results will be shared with four other states participating in a multi-state research consortium studying noise abatement techniques, according to state officials.
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