Sound walls are the ubiquitous concrete barriers that criss-cross our communities, providing separation between noisy highways and neighborhoods. The also provide an element of ugliness the driving public is forced to look at as they pass by.
Standards have changed since they were first adopted in the 1960s. Today, state transportation departments work at providing some relief from the barriers. Often times they are constructed with rough surfaces that deter graffiti and improve looks. Other changes include adding landscaping to soften the appearance. More recently highway experts have been looking at the causes of highway noise; tires on pavement. One approach is to add porous roadway surfaces and also redesign tire treads to reduce road noise.
We encourage the development and promotion of aesthetic alternatives to sound wall. We also participate in stakeholder groups formed by transportation departments and commissions looking for community input on sound walls.