Let The I-5 Noise Abatement Begin!

With any luck, southeast Wallingford may have its wish granted for less noise from the I-5 Express Lanes overhead–at least that’s WSDOT’s goal as it begins its I-5 Ship Canal Noise Study; but don’t break out the bubbly to celebrate just yet.  The study involves installing 700 noise absorbing panels on the ceiling of the Express Lanes over the south end of the Ship Canal Bridge, and they’ll be monitoring the noise levels for three years for their effectiveness before securing additional funds and moving ahead.  The project, funded in part by the gas taxes collected in 2005, covers only East Gwinn Street to East Allison Street, which is beyond the University Bridge.

The WSDOT project website explains that “the ceiling panels are designed to absorb and block some of the reflected traffic noise that bounces off the ceiling of the express lanes and into the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Beginning this Wednesday, there will be lane closures on the I-5 Express Lanes.  Installation of the panels begins in mid-July and completed later in the year.

You can track the progress of this project on the WSDOT website and check out the project’s very own Flickr page.

  1. sharad said,

    the test section will probably benefit eastlake more than any part of wallingford. if the test is successful, do we know what part of the bridge will be fitted with these panels? will they extend all the way up to wallingord?

    Tue, June 8 at 3:45 pm
  2. Margaret said,

    @sharad, yes — just that portion between E. Gwinn and E. Allison will be a part of the test.  If it is successful, you hope to do the entire span of the Ship Canal, which would most certainly cut down the noise in Wallingford.  Problem is…that’s three years out AND with the caveat that they’ll secure funding for the rest of the project.  This test cost $7,001 (for 700 panels).  I can only imagine how many panels they’ll need to cover the entire bridge.

    Tue, June 8 at 4:21 pm
  3. sharad said,

    thanks margaret – I didn’t realize it was also contingent on finding funding :(  I wish we could get a tall noise wall on 5th along the freeway in south wallingford in the meantime

    Tue, June 8 at 4:50 pm
  4. Brian said,

    Margaret, I think the $7 million paid for design work and consultants in addition to the construction and installation of the sound-reduction panels. The project web site is really interesting; thanks for linking to it. Although I do not find mention of future costs there, I would hope that if the sound reduction works, then the rest of the bridge could be retrofitted at less than $10,000 per panel.

    Wed, June 9 at 7:07 am
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