New efforts underway in reducing noise for neighborhood bordering I-26

VIDEO: New efforts underway in reducing noise for neighborhood bordering I-26

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of North Charleston and Charleston County are renewing efforts to address traffic noise concerns in a North Charleston neighborhood.

Northwood Estates borders I-26 and for years residents have pleaded for a sound barrier. Charleston County is using noise detectors to analyze the issue in a new study.

People who live in the neighborhood say the traffic is getting worse, and many can see the highway from their yards.

North Charleston City Council member and Northwood Estates resident Virginia Jamison says she along with others have been pushing for a noise reduction wall since at least 2010.

Previous studies indicated the project costs too much for the amount of people who live in the area. Jamison says more than 300 homes are affected.

Most recently, she says Charleston County placed noise receptors in the neighborhood to measure the sound levels.

Charleston County Deputy Director of Public Works Richard Turner says they are working to get a baseline of the noise and determine how it’s expected to be over the next 20 years as traffic grows.

Turner says the county is working to determine if a noise reduction wall will be beneficial and they are also conducting a cost benefit analysis.

While previous studies have been done, this new study will likely serve as the guide the future plans of the neighborhood. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is expected to do a technical review.

Jamison says the county is also looking for funding sources and analyzing the data for the noise receptors. She says the noise is nearly double what the Federal Highway Administration considers to be appropriate.

"Debilitating noise especially road noise, especially like airplane noise is one of the causative factors of exacerbation of health issues," Jamison said. "Meaning cardiovascular disease, meaning high blood presser, these are things that this area is prone to."

Jamison was just re-elected and she says getting some form of noise reduction in the neighborhood is one of her top priorities.

She says they've requested funding from the state department of transportation for years. We've reached out to them for a comment on where they stand on the matter.

The new study is expected to be completed over the next four months. County officials say there will be a community meeting to discuss the results.

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