Walls to block noise, view for Hoosiers near Lincoln, Kennedy Bridges

Walls to block noise, view for Hoosiers near Lincoln, Kennedy Bridges

CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - If home overlooks the Stansifer Avenue exit to I-65 South, the price of the Ohio River Bridges Project is a given.

"Being smack in the middle of it, there's a lot of noise," said Aaron Riggle, whose move-in coincided with the onset of building the northbound Lincoln Bridge.

Off-peak hours during Christmas Week, the traffic reaches a steady hum of about 90-95 decibels, based on unscientific readings WAVE 3 News conducted and sampled Wednesday afternoon.

Riggle's son Noah, 4, begs to differ.

"I couldn't stay sleepy, couldn't stay asleep sometimes," he said.

"Accidents and ambulances," his father said. "Almost constant."

Clark Memorial Hospital is nearby. But pillars between his home and the interstate portend the view he'll have from his front porch.

"The wall, that's it," Riggle said.

"It" is a 1,200-foot long "noise" or barrier wall of concrete composite, similar to those lining portions of I-64 West, the Watterson Expressway and the Gene Snyder Freeway.

"What they look at is what height you have to get to get a five-decibel reduction," Project Engineer Andy Barber said. "That's the level our ears tell us, is noticeable."

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A random sampling of traffic noise behind the partially-constructed, 900-foot-long wall on Homestead Avenue, off I-65 North, reveals a hum in the 78- to 90-decibel range.

"Do I think the wall's necessary?" Aaron Riggle asked. "No. But then, I'm not the one that's outlying the plans to complete the bridge and what not."

"The people who are benefiting from the wall came back and said 'yes we do want it,'" Barber said. "And that's what's being installed right now."

Traffic engineers have estimated that economic growth resulting from the Lincoln Bridge construction and the Kennedy Bridge repairs will see 320,000 cars and trucks crossing daily by 2025, a 40-percent increase from 2000.

Jeffersonville resident Staci Tutt is all for it. Homestead's backyards have a clear view of the interstate traffic below.

"And those folks can see us, too," Tutt said, referencing the four children she babysits. "If there were someone you didn't want to see the children or a child, they could easily see that they're here and then find a way to get here."

The wall promises privacy. Tutt's issue is its progress.

"It's going on four to five months," she said. "I know that they're busy, and they've got a million things to do, (but) it is taking a long time to get fixed."

"It's not a critical-path operation right now," Barber said. "So it'll be going in over the course of this year. I'm not sure exactly when we'll be done with that.

"Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet hasn't priced the cost of the walls themselves. I do know who'll be maintaining those walls when it's all finished. It's all Indiana."

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