Harish Jharia

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09 November 2011

Noise Pollution: Acoustic Noise Barriers for Residential Areas along High Traffic Roads in the USA


                    Click on image to magnify 

© Harish Jharia

The above photo was clicked while going on-road from Ashburn to Denville in September 2011.  This is a photograph of one of the acoustic walls constructed along the high traffic roads for protecting residents against noise pollution.


                    Click on the image to magnify 

What are Acoustic Noise Barriers?

Noise barriers are solid obstructions built between the roads and the residential houses along highways. They do not completely block noises; nevertheless, they reduce overall noise levels. Ideal noise barriers may reduce noise levels by 5 to 10 decibels (dB), reducing the loudness of traffic noise by almost half. For example, a barrier designed for a 10-dB reduction can reduce sound level of a typical tractor trailer equivalent to an automobile like car or SUV.

Acoustic noise barriers are made of different materials viz cement, wood or specific synthetic materials. Their thickness (usually 6-8 in) and height (usually 15 ft) are designed according to the traffic and geo-environmental conditions.

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