State roads agency offers Brampton Hills a sound barrier against Route 100 Residents say it won't be enough

November 05, 1993|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

By next spring, Brampton Hills residents could have a sound barrier to screen out noise from nearby Route 100, a State Highway Administration official said yesterday.

An 18-foot berm of earth and wood will be built to shield homes next to a planned extension of Route 100 in Ellicott City. The berm will extend from Kirkstall Road to a cul-de-sac on Bates Drive, said Charles Adams, highway administration director of environmental design.

"We're finalizing designs on the earth berm to protect the older section of Brampton Hills," Mr. Adams said.

But some neighbors say the berm "is too little, too late."

"We're going to hear [traffic] even with a sound barrier," said Mary Miller, who lives on Kirkstall Road and can hear, from her home, the construction vehicles working on the Route 100 expansion. "I really don't see it giving us much protection from noise."

At a July meeting, Brampton Hills residents asked state highway officials for sound barriers to protect them from noise and falling property values. After meeting with residents, state highway officials decided in mid-September to build a berm.

But they decided against building a sound barrier entirely from earth because there wasn't enough room between the highway and the homes to do so, Mr. Adams said.

Instead, the berm will consist of 10 feet of earth at its base, topped with an eight-foot fence. "It will be earth where it can be," said Mr. Adams.

State highway officials expect to complete the design within the next two weeks. The design then will go to the prime contractor, Cherry Hill Construction of Jessup, which is working on a portion of Route 100 from Long Gate Parkway to Red Branch Road.

Mr. Adams said he is not sure how much the berm will cost, but said it would be relatively inexpensive because dirt left over from the highway construction project would be used to build it.

"We should get a good price since we're going to be pushing it around instead of trucking it away," he said.

Construction began this summer on two lanes of Route 100 that will connect the interchange of U.S. 29 and Route 103, as well as on a road being built by Ellicott City developer Patrick McCuan near the Brampton Hills neighborhood.

Highway officials plan to add four lanes to Route 100 in 1996.

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