SHORELINE—4 years after the Washington State Department of Transportation started working on their "Quieter Pavement" Program, staff members say "the results aren't promising".
After complaints from freeway neighbors, the state told WSDOT engineers to work on finding ways to quiet down the drive. They are required to show the federal government that they are looking into permanent ways to mitigate noise.
They state decided to try special blends of pavement that have improved noise levels in other states. They set-up special test sections on I-5, SR 520 and I-405. They equipped a car with microphones so they could check the noise levels. They were a little better, at first, but quickly became just as loud as traditional pavement.
On SR 520, things were even worse "the quieter pavements are actually a little louder, according to our computerized system, than the regular asphalt we use on most of our highways," WSDOT Communications Manager Travis Phelps said. The mix also isn't very durable "they're probably going to need to be replaced in the next year to three years." Phelps explained.
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