Sound walls on Dorchester Road shielding neighbors from noise

Blocking the noise, sound walls along Dorchester Road
Source: John Mojonnier
Source: John Mojonnier

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Noisy traffic could be a thing of past for some homeowners living along Dorchester Road.

8 feet above the road, 6 inches thick, concrete sound barriers are going up along Dorchester Road, bordering the Ashborough and Ashborough East neighborhoods in Summerville.

"You know it'll be great, it'll be higher and block out some of the roadway traffic noise. We're hoping its going to be better," said John Tuttle a homeowner in Ashborough.

Tuttle is ready for the view from his backyard to be something other than cones and construction equipment.

"We also lived down the road a couple years back and construction was going on then. That was 6 years ago, 7 years ago. Construction has been going on here forever," said Tuttle.

John Mojonnier, a member of the Dorchester Road Mitigation Committee says the color of the walls will be "Prairie Grass", a neutral beige gray color. Engineers say the walls are specially designed to withstand the tremors from earthquakes sometimes felt in the area.

Paid for by the penny sales tax approved in 2006, the walls will cost nearly 2 million dollars to build.

During the construction, Tuttle and his neighbors had to put a few home improvement plans on hold.

Tuttle said, "Because we were planning on moving our privacy fence up but the association said to wait for the noise wall to come in and see what we're going to have."

His fence will have to wait until the end of November when construction is set to be done. Until then he said he can deal with the noise.

"If you're inside the house and the windows are closed you don't know but when you're sitting in the backyard you'll hear the noise and it'll affect you but other than that it's ok, it's not that bad," said Tuttle.

Along with the sound walls, construction on the 5 mile stretch of Dorchester Road between U.S. 17A to Trolley Road will be widened from 2 to 5 lanes and a section of it will have a 10 foot multi-use sidewalk.

The SCDOT also plans to put up a shorter sound wall on Bacons Bridge Road along the Summerville on the Ashley neighborhood.

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