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  • Waukesha Bypass Noise Study

    Prepared for

    Waukesha Department of Public Works

    August 2012

    Submitted by

  • III

    Contents

    1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 11.1Purpose of the Analysis .................................................................................................... 1

    1.1.1 Proposed Improvements ............................................................................. 11.2Criteria for Acceptable Noise Exposure ......................................................................... 1

    1.2.1 Regulatory Criteria ....................................................................................... 11.2.2 Criteria for Increases in Noise Levels ........................................................ 2

    2. Methodology .......................................................................................................................... 33. Noise Impact Analysis .......................................................................................................... 3

    3.1Setting ................................................................................................................................. 33.2Measured Noise Levels .................................................................................................... 33.3Calculated Peak-hour Noise Exposure .......................................................................... 5

    3.3.1 Existing (2010) Peak-Hour Noise Levels ................................................... 53.3.2 Future (2035) Peak-Hour Noise Levels ..................................................... 5

    4. Noise Abatement Analysis .................................................................................................. 64.1Wisconsin Noise Abatement Guidelines ....................................................................... 64.2Traffic Noise Abatement Strategies ................................................................................ 74.3Construction Noise ......................................................................................................... 10

    5. Conclusions .......................................................................................................................... 116. References ............................................................................................................................. 11 Tables 1 Federal Highway Administration Design Noise Level/Activity Relationships 2 Noise Monitoring Locations 3 Results of Calibration (dBA) 4 Predicted Peak-Hour Noise Levels 5 Summary of Noise Mitigation: Barrier Descriptions Exhibits 1 Field Measurement Locations 2 Sunset-to-County X Alternative 3 Pebble Creek Alternative 4 Golf Course East Alternative 5 Golf Course East Shift West Alternative 6 Golf Course East Alternatives Acquisitions Appendix A 1 Summary of Peak Hour Noise Levels

  • 1

    1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose of the Analysis Waukesha County, City of Waukesha, Town of Waukesha and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) are evaluating alternatives and assessing the impacts of various alternatives to implement the long-planned West Waukesha Bypass.

    The purpose of the traffic noise analysis was to assess potential noise impacts by evaluating worst case hourly traffic noise levels at noise sensitive locations and qualitatively evaluating noise abatement options in the project area.

    1.1.1 Proposed Improvements A wide range of alternatives were evaluated. Those that were retained for additional study are the subject of this noise analysis. The limits of the study are Rolling Ridge Drive on the north (just south of I-94) and the intersection of County X and WIS 59 on the south. One build alternative remains under consideration from the north terminus to Sunset Drive, and that is a 4-lane roadway largely on the existing County TT alignment. South of Sunset Drive four alternatives were subject to this noise analysis (Sunset-to-County X, Pebble Creek, Golf Course East and Golf Course East, Shift West). Both Golf Course East Alternatives have been dropped from consideration.

    This report describes applicable noise criteria, the evaluation methodology used, and the analytical results. Based on the findings of the study, noise levels at noise-sensitive locations under the build condition exceed the applicable state and federal noise criteria. This necessitates consideration of feasible and reasonable noise mitigation measures, as discussed in the final section of this report.

    Unless otherwise stated, all sound levels reported are energy equivalent levels (Leq), A-weighted, and measured in terms of decibels (dBA).

    1.2 Criteria for Acceptable Noise Exposure 1.2.1 Regulatory Criteria The criteria used to evaluate noise impacts are contained in Title 23 CFR 772, Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise, and the WisDOT Facilities Development Manual, Chapter 23: Noise. The Activity Category B and C noise level criteria (NLC) of 67 dBA apply to residences, churches, schools, recreation areas, and similar activities. Other developed land (e.g., hotels/motels or other business areas) is included in Activity Category E, with a NLC of 72 dBA. The NLC are noise impact thresholds for determining when consideration of noise abatement measures could be warranted. Noise levels are determined under worst case traffic noise conditions. Primary consideration is given to exterior areas where frequent human use occurs.

    Table 1 shows the FHWA Design Level/Activity Relationship used for determining the NLC for specific land uses (e.g., residential, commercial). WisDOTs Traffic Noise Evaluation form (Factor Sheet D-3) considers traffic noise impacts to occur if predicted peak-hour traffic noise levels approach or exceed the NLC. WisDOT defines approach as noise

  • WEST WAUKESHA BYPASS TRAFFIC NOISE ANALYSIS

    2

    levels within 1 dBA (66 dBA for Category B and C or 71 dBA for Category E) of the FHWA NLC in Table 1.

    TABLE 1 Noise level criteria (NLC) for considering barriers Land Use Category

    Leq(h) a

    (dBA) (Evaluation Location)

    Description of Land Use Category

    A 57 (Exterior) Lands on which serenity and quiet are of extraordinary significance and serve an important public need, and where the preservation of those qualities is essential if the area is to continue to serve its intended purpose.

    Bb 67 (Exterior) Residential.

    Cb 67 (Exterior) Active sport areas, amphitheaters, auditoriums, campgrounds, cemeteries, daycare centers, hospitals, libraries, medical facilities, parks, picnic areas, places of worship, playgrounds, public meeting rooms, public or nonprofit institutional structures, radio studios, recording studios, recreation areas, Section 4(f) sites, schools, television studios, trails, and trail crossings.

    Dc 52 (Interior) Auditoriums, daycare centers, hospitals, libraries, medical facilities, places of worship, public meeting rooms, public or nonprofit institutional structures, radio studios, recording studios, schools, and television studios.

    Eb 72 (Exterior) Hotels, motels, offices, restaurants/bars, and other developed lands, properties or activities not included in A-D or F.

    F --- --- Agriculture, airports, bus yards, emergency services, industrial, logging, maintenance facilities, manufacturing, mining, rail yards, retail facilities, shipyards, utilities (water resources, water treatment, electrical), and warehousing.

    G --- --- Undeveloped lands that are not permitted. a Leq = Equivalent steady-state sound level, which in a stated period of time contains the same acoustical energy as the time-varying sound level during the same period. For purposes of measuring or predicting noise levels, a receptor is assumed to be at ear height, located five feet above ground surface. Leq(h)=hourly value of Leq b Includes undeveloped lands permitted for this activity category or publicly-owned recreation lands formally designated in a public agencys Master Plan. c Use of interior noise levels shall be limited to situations where a determination has been made that exterior abatement measures will not be feasible and reasonable and after exhausting all outdoor mitigation options.

    1.2.2 Criteria for Increases in Noise Levels In addition to the criterion sound levels described above, FHWA and WisDOT consider a traffic noise impact to occur if predicted sound levels substantially increase compared to existing noise levels. While FHWA guidance does not specifically define what constitutes a substantial increase, FHWA provides state highway agencies the flexibility in establishing their own definition of what constitutes a substantial increase. The Wisconsin DOT policy states that a predicted traffic noise level of 15 dBA or more over existing noise levels constitutes a substantial increase in noise levels for new highway projects.

  • WEST WAUKESHA BYPASS TRAFFIC NOISE ANALYSIS

    3

    2. Methodology The analysis evaluated the current noise environment (based on 2010 traffic data) and four alternatives, the Pebble Creek Alternative, the Sunset-to-County X Alternative and the two Golf Course East Alternatives (based on forecast peak-hour traffic for 2035). Traffic noise levels were evaluated using the FHWA Traffic Noise Model version 2.5 (TNM 2.5) computer program. TNM 2.5 is the latest analytical method developed for highway traffic noise prediction. The model is based upon reference energy emission levels for automobiles, medium trucks (two axles), and heavy trucks (three or more axles) with consideration given to vehicle volume, speed, roadway configuration, distance

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