Prairie Engineers staff has personally been involved in numerous highway traffic noise studies throughout the state of Illinois, and have experience in reviewing rail traffic noise and vibration studies in addition to highway traffic noise. Code of Federal Regulation (23) 771 and 772 discuss environmental impacts and procedures required to be followed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These procedures include analyzing noise from highway and rail traffic, and vibration from rail. Further clarification is provided within technical memorandum produced by the respective agencies: FTA – Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment; and FHWA Traffic Noise Model Technical Manual. The Illinois Department of Transportation has produced the ‘Highway Traffic Noise Assessment Manual’ to serve as a guidance document for performing highway traffic noise analysis in Illinois.
The guidance documents define the procedures to identify the impact criteria (FTA) or abatement criteria (FHWA) which represent the threshold of an impact and the subsequent consideration of mitigation measures. The thresholds define when an impact occurs, but do not represent mitigation design criteria. Methodologies for analysis must conform to the FTA Noise and Vibration Assessment for rail and FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM) 2.5. Mitigation of noise and vibration impacts is based on whether a potential mitigation option is both reasonable (economically viable) and feasible (technically viable).
Project experience includes the evaluation of a noise and vibration assessment for the new passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities and the following highway traffic noise studies:
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