Local News

Many I-540 Neighbors Seek Their Own Great Wall

Posted March 19, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— How would you like a 15 to 20 foot tall wall in your backyard? Noise walls are not exactly pretty, but they are practical, blocking out some of the rumble from the highway.

Some people who live along Interstate 540 say they want the unattractive addition to their yards, but they are being told they cannot have them.

"I'm accepting it because there's nothing else I can do. We've tried fighting it, and it didn't work," says Carol Ann Holler.

The walls are designed to deflect noise, specifically to buffer the traffic noise that will arise from the soon-to-be-completed outer loop around Raleigh.

DOT engineers say they have followed federal noise guidelines. The result is that some I-540 neighbors will get the noise walls. Some, like Holler, will not.

"I'm anticipating it to be bad. It's been so quiet out here, you hear the birds. It's been just wonderful for 15 years, and now it's going to change," Holler said. "We'll do the best we can, but we don't like it."

While not everyone likes them, the DOT's brick noise walls please many beltline neighbors.

You have to be close enough to the road, and have enough population density, to merit them.

In the Shannon Woods neighborhood they are still hoping the "Great 540 Wall" comes their way.

"We've got a committee in the subdivision that's been working on it and they said don't give up hope," Holler says. "But the road is due to open within the year and nothing is happening."

Many neighborhoods just have to accept the fact that the outer loop is coming.

Many of the neighbors just wish a big, backyard wall came with it. The DOT says the cost keeps noise wall construction to a minimum. One mile on one side of a highway costs $1 million.