Holland Park may get noise barrier
CDOT proposes wall along I-25 – 2,820 long by 16 feet high
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Environmental Assessment (EA), “Noise is the
environmental issue that attracted the most public comments during the extensive public-outreach efforts throughout the EA
Process” for the proposed I-25 widening project through Colorado Springs.|
In the end, despite arguments from area neighborhood leaders, CDOT decided to go with the same noise-abatement solution it has previously used on I-25 - noise barriers.
The only Westside location recommended for a barrier is the Holland Park neighborhood south of Garden of the Gods Road. A structure 2,820 feet long and 16 feet high, it would be built along the highway north of Ellston Street up to Colorado Technical University, according to CDOT information. The EA states that 70 “receptors” - mainly homes - would benefit from the structure there.
The estimated cost - part of the overall, estimated $550 million project expense - is $1,353,600.
The average noise reduction predicted from the structure is approximately 5 A-weighted decibels, (dB(A)), the EA states. The standard applied by the state is based on the principle that exterior noise in a residential area should ideally be 66 dB(A) or less. State calculations indicate that Holland Park in the 1990s was at 65 and an I-25 widening without a barrier would raise it to 70.
The EA proposal disagrees with citizens who had suggested the use of a rubberized asphalt pavement on I-25 to reduce noise. “Alternative pavement types are not considered a proven noise mitigation measure by the [Federal Highway Administration] FHWA and CDOT,” the EA states. “Instead, pavement selection is based upon life cycle costs, taking into account durability, maintenance, and traffic disruption factors. Other potential mitigation measures, such as moving or depressing the highway, were deemed infeasible due to the developed nature of the area and due to groundwater or drainage constraints.”
Roy Ayala, president of the Holland Park Community Association, told the Westside Pioneer he is not especially keen on the barrier idea. Although it may help people who live right next to the freeway, he said a barrier doesn't do much for people farther away, it can “echo” back to the other side of the free way and has the appearance of “the Great Wall of China.”
Holland Park's is one of eight new barriers proposed in the entire 26-mile length of the project. These barriers will protect approximately 270 homes plus several “noise-sensitive features” in Monument Valley Park, the EA states.
Other locations were considered for barriers but rejected based on CDOT engineering criteria. Westside candidates were the Park Terrace Apartments north of Fillmore Street, the San Miguel residential area south of Uintah Street and the Mesa Springs neighborhood south of Fillmore Street. These were turned down based on a variety of factors, including cost-effectiveness and whether a 5 dB(A) reduction could be attained by abatement efforts, according to the EA.
Westside Pioneer article