Noise reduction measures are being put in place on the Pacific Highway upgrade.
Noise reduction measures are being put in place on the Pacific Highway upgrade. Samantha Elley

Noise reduction measures planned for Pacific Highway

AN OPERATIONAL Noise Review for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade has been released.

A Roads and Maritime spokesperson said the report, approved by the Department of Planning and Environment, outlines expected traffic noise levels and proposed mitigation measures for the Glenugie to Pimlico section of the upgrade which was still under construction.

"When developing and delivering major road upgrades, Roads and Maritime Services takes a number of steps to understand the expected operational noise impacts. This starts early in project development and predicted noise levels for the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade were first modelled as part of the Environmental Impact Statement in 2012," the spokesperson said.

"With the project now under construction, the project team has refined the data based on the final detailed design and location of the new road. The findings of this assessment are outlined in the review.

"Noise is assessed based on a complex computer model which takes into account traffic speeds and projected traffic volumes, proportion of light and heavy vehicles, types of road surface and a three-dimensional road design.

"To manage impacts to communities the project team is using measures to reduce noise levels such as road design and pavement surface types. A noise wall is also proposed at Tyndale.

"In addition to at-source noise mitigation measures, the Operational Noise Review identifies more than 300 properties eligible for consideration of at-house noise treatment. This involves physical changes to improve the sound resistance of properties.

"Eligibility and level of treatment is based on the noise model and NSW guidelines to ensure that treatment is provided fairly. Due to the large number of properties eligible for at-house noise treatment, the project team is delivering the program in stages and will contact property owners to confirm next steps. This process has already started.

"Within one year of the upgrade being completed and operating at full speed, we will carry out an assessment to compare the actual traffic noise against the predicted levels and prepare a post-completion operational noise compliance report. If the noise is greater than expected, additional measures may be considered.

"The operational noise compliance report will be submitted to the NSW Environment Protection Authority and Department of Planning and Environment to ensure that all regulatory requirements have been met."

Key measures

  • Building a noise wall at Tyndale
  • Installing low noise pavement at Gulmarrad and Broadwater (in addition to the areas identified for low noise pavement in the EIS)
  • Considering at-house noise treatment for more than 300 properties within 600 metres of the new road
  • Considering at-house noise treatment for 47 properties within 601-900 metres at the operational compliance stage of the project.

The Operational Noise Review was available to view online at rms.nsw.gov.au/w2b.

For more information, please call 1800 778 900 or email w2b@pacificcomplete.com.au


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