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Evaluating Roadway Traffic Noise Impacts Using Only High-Level Planning Data

Presenters Name: 
Caleb Neale
Co Presenters Name: 
I Jung
Primary Research Mentor: 
John Miller
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Lewis Lloyd
12:30 - 1:45
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

When implementing a new roadway, a noise data analysis is necessary to determine how the planned roadway affects nearby residential sites or other sites sensitive to noise impacts. However, creating accurate noise predictions often required detailed planning data, which is costly and only available later in the planning process.. The goal of this study is to determine the data and planning steps necessary to evaluate noise impact predictions that are still accurate but utilize as little data as possible. This study will attempt to do this by modeling the pre-construction site using the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Traffic Noise Model (TNM), validating using site recorded data, and determining a margin of error. Using this margin of error, preliminary estimations of traffic volumes, and preliminary new roadway characteristics, predicted noise impacts will be estimated using the FHWA TNM. If, when compared to predictions made with more detailed data and actual values, both pre-construction and post-construction modelling are within a margin of error of ±3 dBA the stated procedure can be concluded to be accurate enough for noise impact analysis. If this methodology proves sufficient in this and subsequent trials, the costs and data required for noise impact assessment can be reduced significantly, reducing the overall costs of roadway construction and unintended negative noise impacts on members of the public everywhere.