Reporting Brian New
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A new experimental sound barrier is going up along I-30 just west of downtown Dallas.
The 10-foot-tall clear plastic boards are designed to block the traffic noise from the nearby Kessler Park neighborhood.
Jillce Stevens, a resident of Kessler Park, said the traffic noise use to keep her up at night.
“It was like sleeping in Motel 6 on the highway,” she said.
But when the sound barriers went up across the street from their home this week, the constant rumble from the traffic was nearly gone.
“It is so quiet,” said Stevens. “I’m like its rush hour, and wow I can’t hear it.”
TxDOT said this is a pilot program. The clear plastic sound barriers have never been used in Texas before.
The initial barrier once complete will run nearly a half mile along the interstate from Edgefield to Sylvan.
Phase two will add an additional 1,300 feet to the barrier from Sylvan toward Dallas.
The cost of the project is $884,857.
TxDOT said it won’t know for sure how well it will work until the project is complete, but already some drivers have expressed concerns about the glare from the sun and the reflections of headlights off the clear boards at night.
“That’s an area we are looking at because in certain areas like on a bridge it might not be as bad as on a curve,” said TXDoT’s Donna Huerta.
Huerta said if the boards work and prove to require little maintenance, more boards will likely go along highways across the state in the coming years.
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