Traffic Noise Rules Affect Roadway Design Requirements

Transportation system improvements oftentimes benefits commuters while also creating negative noise impacts on neighboring communities. Recognizing the fact that traffic noise cannot be completely eliminated, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has adopted a more realistic and comprehensive policy that strives to make traffic noise more manageable through improved rules. The previous rules utilized Traffic Noise Model Look-up Tables to quickly estimate traffic noise, but were not intended to be a substitute for performing a comprehensive noise analysis. The FHWA’s updated rules eliminates the use of these outdated tables and stipulates that any roadway project that substantially
alters vertical or horizontal position, creates additional lanes, adds or relocates interchanges or ramps, or adds weigh stations or rest stops will require use of the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM) version 2.5. SCI’s noise assessment staff are familiar with the new rules and are trained by the FHWA for Highway Traffic Noise and TNM2.5. These individuals are experienced providing noise analysis services for numerous projects, including several recent transportation projects in the St. Louis area. SCI is also precertified by the Texas Department of Transportation to provide Traffic Noise Analysis.