Route 267 Sound Walls Summary

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 9:51 AM | Deleted user

Route 267 Sound Walls Summary (12/20/11)

By Mark Kinnane, PHCA

John Muse

Paul Kohler


Stated Purpose:
“The purpose of this project is to construct sound walls as required by the General Assembly's 2010 Budget Amendment. HB 30, line 436 G states, "pursuant to the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, in conjunction with the construction of rail mass transit in the right of way of the Dulles Access/Toll Road Connector (DATRC), sound walls shall be constructed along residential properties from the beginning of the DATRC to Interstate Route 66 with funding from the Commonwealth Transportation Fund.” - http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/dulles_connector_route_267_sound_walls.asp

Meeting Summary:
A meeting was held at the Lemon Rd Elementary School on December the 14th 2011. Large poster boards were presented which showed satellite images of the area which will be affected by the addition of sound walls to Route 267. The maps also indicated points within the neighborhood at which sound readings were taken during an extensive sound study of the area.

A question and answer session was held in a town hall style with many residents from both sides of route 267 expressing concern about the environmental impact and the barrier design process. (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/Location_Map_UPC_98232.PDF)

Flyers were handed out for residents to give feedback on the currently proposed sound barriers.

The poster boards indicated that the sound level due to traffic on Route 267 within our neighborhood (primarily Olney Rd) is approximately 55 decibels (+/- 4 decibels). - (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/dulles_connector_sound_walls/12-14-11_CIM_Conceptual_Plans_Display_Board_2.pdf)

The main presenter (Paul Kohler) told us:

- that the sound barriers will have little impact on current noise levels for properties located more than 200 feet from the barriers due to refraction of sound waves around them.

-the noise values from the sound study which were shown on the large poster boards were projections of sound levels 20 years into future. The projections were undertaken using sound
models based on current sound readings.

-the noise values included in the sound study shown on the large poster boards were average sound values not peak sound values.

-the sound study was undertaken using federal guidelines.

-within the Pimmit Hills neighborhood the sound barriers will decrease traffic noise from route 267 by between 1 and 5 decibels.


My main concern was the use of average noise rather than peak noise to determine barrier design. The sound study and modeling was undertaken using federal guidelines. Little can be done regarding the results.

Darren Ewing of Olney Rd and Jim Phelps of the Noise Coalition are on top of things regarding local concerns and should be our main contact points for residents of Pimmit Hills.

Due to the 200 foot rule, the vast majority of Pimmit Hills residents will not be significantly affected by the barriers.
We should remain in the loop regarding development of the barriers.

The cut off date for feedback was late December 2011. It was too soon for me to provide feedback on behalf of the PHCA. It concerns me that the cutoff date was so soon after the first presentation of the sound study results.



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