AUSTIN (KXAN) — As construction continues on the MoPac Improvement Project, sound walls have now become a usual sight along the main lanes of traffic. But are these walls serving their purpose by keeping the noise out?
Jean Bruns has lived along MoPac for the past three years. He has seen traffic delays grow and construction crews become a common sight near his Clarksville home. Most recently added, is the sound wall that runs along his front yard.
“I, for one love it, because I feel like I gained some privacy. Like the city built a wall for me,” said Bruns.
Seven miles of sound walls in 19 different locations are in the process of being added along MoPac to help reduce the rush hour racket that will affect homeowners along the highway.
When we tested the walls with a decibel reader app in front of the wall near traffic, decibels reached nearly 80 – that’s about as loud as being near a freight train. We then checked from behind the wall. Decibels dropped within the 60 to 70 range – that’s comparable to a conversation in a restaurant.
Erica Holmes is next in line to get a wall. She currently has a chain link fence between her yard and the MoPac frontage road.
“Noise reduction, won’t be able to see the cars, MoPac won’t be able to see into my yard. I’ve got 3 kids they like to play in the backyard. There will be more privacy too and it’ll look better.”