Drilling for Tranquility amid Turnpike Expansion
Editor: Allison Braswell
Four years after construction began, PennDOT has recently completed the first phase of their overhaul of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Major improvements so far include a second lane to the Turnpike ramps from northbound and southbound U.S. Route 1, the widening of Route 132 near the US. 1 Interchange, bridge and ramp replacements. All construction is expected to wrap up by mid-2026. While this new extra road space excites commuters, it can be less than ideal for families who must live with the sounds of the modern world hurtling by their neighborhoods at 70 miles per hour.
Fortunately, the Noise Control Act of 1972 establishes noise emission standards for state and local governments that protect Americans from noise that could compromise their health or welfare. PennDOT has a detailed process for determining where noise abatement will be needed following a highway project. Once noise-sensitive locations such as residences, schools, and places of worship are identified, computer modeling performed with the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM) is used to predict future noise conditions in light of new road improvements. If these predictions are considerably higher than existing noise levels, then abatement options like sound barrier walls or topographical changes will be implemented. The typical range of noise reduction that can be expected from taking these measures is from 5 to 10 decibels. However, by using materials best for sound wave deflection when building sound barrier walls, this difference can be greater.
To help mitigate disturbances from the Turnpike traffic, Clearwater Construction of Mercer, PA built a soldier pile and lagging wall along southbound U.S. 1. Using a Comacchio CH 450 Large Bore Rig that they rented from International Construction Equipment, Inc, the crew successfully drilled the installation sites for 24" (in)-diameter soldier piles that would form the sound barrier wall. Precast concrete lagging was applied in between the piles to dampen the road noise. Accounting for nearly half of all abatement walls in North America, the greater mass of concrete reduces sound penetration by more than 80% compared with wood or steel materials.
Thank you, Clearwater Construction, for partnering with ICE® to reduce noise levels in the communities surrounding the PA Turnpike. Residents can now enjoy urban living with a little more peace and quiet thanks to Clearwater's expertise in highway construction and selection of reliable deep foundation equipment.
Learn more about Comacchio's line of large diameter drill rigs.
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations
Vice President IT and IT Comm
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc
Office - 704-821-8200
Email - email@example.com
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