FAA helps fund state plans to soundproof homes near BWI

July 16, 1999|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Families in the Allwood I community east of Baltimore-Washington International Airport will no longer have to shake and rattle each time planes begin to roll.

Thanks to a federal grant, six more homes, and eventually the rest of the community, will soon be reinforced with concrete slabs, new insulation, drywall, and siding, caulking and weather stripping that will help keep their windows and doors in place.

The $1.24 million from the Federal Aviation Administration will be added to state money that has been set aside to give neighbors of the airport peace.

Allwood neighbors "are located directly in front of a runway, and actually below the runway, so they get hit full force," said John White, an airport spokesman.

Residents in the community of 54 homes have complained of "low-frequency" noise -- mostly shaking and vibrations that come from airplane engine starts and takeoffs, White said. The noise is akin to that heard -- and felt -- when stopped in traffic next to a music aficionado with 5-foot speakers pounding full force, he said.

The Maryland Aviation Administration has been working in the Allwood community since 1987 to soundproof the homes. The agency has used nearly $1 million in federal funds to soundproof homes or guarantee that homeowners get a fair-market value when they sell. Eleven homes were soundproofed last year; there are 29 remaining. Work on the six homes is to begin next month, White said.

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