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Selection of noise barrier material Morgan, Susan M ; Kay, Dianne H

By: Contributor(s): Publication details: Transportation Research Record, 2001Description: nr 1756, s. 63-7Subject(s): Bibl.nr: VTI P8167:1756Location: Abstract: Because of the large capital expenditures required to construct or replace a noise barrier, it is important for designers to have the information necessary to make rational choices among the materials available. Designers face difficulties, however, There is a lack of information on both existing materials and designs, and many of the new products being introduced are not typical in highway construction. As a result, research was conducted to determine the service life of the various noise barrier materials and products currently in use in Illinois and to develop a life-cycle cost model for evaluating alternative materials. Wood and metal products were estimated to have a 25-year service life; the service life for earth berms, concrete, and fiberglass was estimated to be 50 years. Results of the life-cycle cost analyses (LCCA) indicated that earth berms were the lowest-cost alternative, and metal barriers with absorptive panels were the most expensive. The life-cycle costs of the other barrier materials modeled (including wood, concrete, and proprietary materials) were approximately twice the cost of earth berms. However, although LCCA can provide an additional piece of information in the selection process for noise barrier materials, it should not be used as the sole criterion because of the lack of reliable historical field data on the costs and frequency of maintenance and replacement of barriers.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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Because of the large capital expenditures required to construct or replace a noise barrier, it is important for designers to have the information necessary to make rational choices among the materials available. Designers face difficulties, however, There is a lack of information on both existing materials and designs, and many of the new products being introduced are not typical in highway construction. As a result, research was conducted to determine the service life of the various noise barrier materials and products currently in use in Illinois and to develop a life-cycle cost model for evaluating alternative materials. Wood and metal products were estimated to have a 25-year service life; the service life for earth berms, concrete, and fiberglass was estimated to be 50 years. Results of the life-cycle cost analyses (LCCA) indicated that earth berms were the lowest-cost alternative, and metal barriers with absorptive panels were the most expensive. The life-cycle costs of the other barrier materials modeled (including wood, concrete, and proprietary materials) were approximately twice the cost of earth berms. However, although LCCA can provide an additional piece of information in the selection process for noise barrier materials, it should not be used as the sole criterion because of the lack of reliable historical field data on the costs and frequency of maintenance and replacement of barriers.

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