A UDOT Study

Noise Info.

Noise Information

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) created an official Noise Abatement Policy to establish policy and procedure for the Department in regard to noise abatement studies, implementing measures, and coordination with local municipalities and the public to guarantee that all feasible and reasonable mitigation measures are incorporated into projects to minimize noise impacts and protect the public health and welfare.

For your convenience, we have simplified the policy and highlighted most of the material that relates to the US-89 State Environmental Study.

UDOT’s noise abatement policy allows for an objective categorization of projects based on predetermined parameters:

There are 3 different types of projects a construction design could fall under. The US-89 State Environmental Study falls under the Type 1 category, which means that noise abatement will be considered due to the fact that it involves a substantial horizontal alteration to an existing highway.

Noise impact and abatement analyses includes lands within Land Use Activity Categories A, B, C, D and E only when development exists or has been “permitted.”

The traffic noise analysis will include the following:

  • Identification of existing activities, developed lands, and undeveloped lands for which development is permitted.
  • Determination of existing and future worst case noise levels.
  • Determination of traffic noise impacts.

The Department considers a traffic noise impact to occur when either of the following situations is expected at a sensitive land use:

Refer here for the Sound Level Change vs. Relative Loudness table (Table 2)

  • The future worst case noise level is equal to or greater than the Department Noise Abatement Criteria in Table 1 for each corresponding land use category, or.
  • The future worst case noise level is greater than or equal to an increase of 10 DBA over the existing noise level. This impact criterion takes effect regardless of existing noise levels.

The two relevant criteria to consider when identifying and evaluating noise abatement measures for mitigation are feasibility and reasonableness.

  • Feasibility includes engineering considerations, safety on urban non-access controlled roadways, and acoustic feasibility. If noise abatement is determined to be feasible, the Department will determine whether noise abatement construction is reasonable by thoroughly considering the criteria listed in full on the current UDOT policy document.
  • Reasonableness looks into the noise abatement design goal, the cost effectiveness of setting up noise abatement measures, the viewpoints of property owners and residents via balloting, and the noise receptor locations.

The following abatement measures may be considered including a cost/benefit analyses to compare alternatives if a noise impact is identified:

  • Traffic Management Measures such as truck restrictions or reducing speed limits.
  • Noise barriers
  • Instances may arise in which Department right-of-way is not the most prudent location for noise abatement measures, yet such measures can be feasible and reasonable, if built on adjacent property or adjacent public right-of-way. Refer to the full UDOT document for specific situations where this is applicable.
  • For projects on Department facilities, the Department will own and maintain all noise abatement measures. The local government will own and maintain all noise abatement measures for local government facilities.
  • Noise abatement measures analyzed and deemed feasible and reasonable in the environmental study phase are still subject to final design and balloting.

There may be circumstances when existing noise barriers must be relocated or replaced due to conflicts with new construction projects, and where the barriers do not meet new specified criteria. Existing barriers will be relocated or replaced in these cases with an “in-kind” barrier so long as the replacement does not meet any of the hazards listed in the full UDOT document.

A third party, such as a local municipality, may ontribute funds to make functional or aesthetic enhancements to a noise abatement feature in instances where noise abatement has already been deemed feasible and reasonable.

The Department will inform local officials of noise compatible planning concepts and an estimate of future noise levels on undeveloped lands or properties within the project limits for Type I Projects.

The Department may construct and maintain noise abatement measures along state highway right-of-way in cases where citizens, adjacent property owners, developers, or local municipalities provide the cost for the noise abatement; and the abatement meets the other feasible and reasonable criteria.

The Department will design, build, and maintain the abatement measure, and the local municipality acting for and on behalf of other groups will pay the Dpeartment for all preliminary engineering, construction and maintenance costs.

Only the current FHWA-approved Traffic Noise Model (TNM) is to be used for any traffic noise analysis unless otherwise agreed upon in advance by the Department and FHWA.

Refer to the end of the Noise Abatement Policy for definitions.

To read the full Noise Abatement Policy, click here.