Sound barriers by I-70 called high priority by planners St. Johns Green residents exposed to high noise level

February 17, 1997|By Dilshad D. Husain | Dilshad D. Husain,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Erecting sound barriers north of the St. Johns Green neighborhood in Ellicott City has been deemed a high-priority project by the Howard County Planning Board after a recent decibel test proved noise from Interstate 70 was beyond the normal limit.

Noise levels of as much as 70 decibels were detected in tests taken Jan. 16 and 17. Even that level of noise was not entirely accurate because snow on the ground muffled the sound, a planning board member said at Thursday's meeting.

The tests indicated that noise levels peak in the early morning and late afternoon. The acceptable level is about 65 decibels.

The high-priority designation puts the noise barriers at the top of the list of projects the Planning Board will submit to the County Council for funding.

Violet Mauboules of Millbrook Road attended the meeting ready to complain if a petition for the sound barriers encountered opposition. Eleven homes on her street that border the highway were built before the highway was.

"It's about time something was done," Mauboules said. "You can't have your windows open if you want to have a normal conversation. You can't sit on the porch in the summertime.

"Every week I stack my china in the cabinet," she said. "By the end of the week, all the dishes have slid down to the end of the cabinet and I have to move it back again.

"The noise makes our teeth rattle. I hope this means something, this being tagged high priority," she said.

Joan Lancos, a member of the Planning Board, said the project is expected to be funded 80 percent by the state and 20 percent through local funds.

No estimate of the cost was given.

Pub Date: 2/17/97

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