Residents continue push for noise reduction in neighborhood bordering I-26

Residents continue push for noise reduction in neighborhood bordering I-26
Northwood Estates borders I-26 and residents say the noise level has dramatically increased over time. With more infrastructure projects and cars coming to the area, they worry the problem will only get worse. (Source: Live 5 News)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One North Charleston neighborhood is still fighting for a sound barrier a decade after the problem started.

Northwood Estates borders I-26 and residents say the noise level has dramatically increased over time. With more infrastructure projects and cars coming to the area, they worry the problem will only get worse.

There have been several efforts to find a solution and funding. Previous studies have indicated that the project would cost too much for the amount of people living in the area.

North Charleston city councilwoman and Northwood Estates resident Virginia Jamison says the noise is harmful for the people living in the neighborhood.

“For the last 10 years we have been trying to get noise reduction in this corridor so if you can imagine 10 years of constant increasing noise then you can imagine a lot of people are suffering from this noise level,” Jamison said.

Most recently, Charleston County hired a company to conduct a noise assessment study of the neighborhood to determine the existing and future noise levels along the roadway and evaluate whether noise abatement was needed.

The study analyzed 279 homes in the subdivision.

The study revealed that in some areas the noise impacts were greater than what national standards allow. But after looking at solutions, the costs to follow through with a solution is greater than what the state department of transportation allows under its policies.

“The results of the study were that the considered barrier walls (B1 and B2) do not meet both the feasible and reasonableness criteria per the SCDOT Traffic Noise Abatement Policy; therefore, SCDOT will not allow for construction of a barrier wall within the I-26 right-of-way,” county officials said.

Jamison believes there are other solutions that can be found, but the neighborhood needs help and support from local and state officials to make that happen.

“I hope and pray that we can maybe get a traffic engineer at the county level or city level to oversee projects like this,” Jamison said. “I’m not going to quit. I will take it to the Federal Highway Administration. I will identify it as a civil rights violation against me and my neighbors and friends. I will do whatever it takes.”

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