Residents ask KYTC to install sound walls before widening I-71 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Residents ask KYTC to install sound walls before widening I-71

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"We have a play structure but a lot of time it sits empty just because of the noise level,” said Howard, “they almost have to yell at each other." "We have a play structure but a lot of time it sits empty just because of the noise level,” said Howard, “they almost have to yell at each other."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In a few years, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will widen part of Interstate 71, and the noise it will bring has some neighbors concerned.

We looked into the documents that show what they're afraid to hear.

Moser Farms Subdivision may look like a quiet neighborhood – but it doesn’t sound like one.

Stefanie Palmer-Eplion says the noises don’t seem to go away.

“Brakes, truck horns, rumble strips,” she says, can be heard constantly.

Palmer-Eplion moved to the subdivision with her family for the quality schools and her son's bedroom now faces the fast moving traffic.

"He's 8-years-old. Always slept through the night - now he gets up two or three times a night," she said.

It's the same story next door. Neighbor Ashley Howard's children hardly ever play in the back yard.

"We have a play structure but a lot of time it sits empty just because of the noise level,” said Howard, “they almost have to yell at each other."

That noise level may get worse because the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans on widening I-71 in both directions.

Construction crews will add another lane going from two to three, between the Gene Snyder in Jefferson County and KY-329 in Oldham County.

The state asked for public comment on the expansion and WDRB filed an Open Records Request for those documents. 

Some didn't want the project at all and others were worried about crowded exit ramps. But out of more than 40 forms that were submitted, nearly half involved complaints about the noise.

"You can hear it in the shower, you can hear it watching TV,” said Palmer-Eplion.

Residents realize the interstate was here first, but say if it's being expanded, they want improvements.

"I'd really really love to see a sound wall,” said Howard.

Putting up a sound barrier wall wouldn't be cheap. In fact, KYTC says they cost about $40 per square foot. which translates to about $3 million per mile.

KYTC would first have to figure out the traffic count and test the decibels.

"We are actually underway with a noise analysis and the area out there will have to meet certain criteria," said KYTC spokesperson Andrea Clifford. "But if it qualifies, it will be built as part of the project."

That's money well spent, say residents of Moser Farms who could finally get sleep and have a quiet neighborhood.

The final design, which could include a sound barrier wall, should be finished by the end of 2016, with the work starting in 2019.

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