To reduce the impact of highway traffic noise on adjacent communities, more than seven miles of noise walls are proposed to be built along the project corridor. Per the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) requirements, proposed noise walls must be warranted, feasible and reasonable.
In September 2016, during the project's preliminary engineering phase, VDOT completed a Preliminary Noise Analysis. In 2019, the Design-Build team updated and finalized the noise analysis based on the amended road design, additional field data, updated traffic studies and more detailed topographical data. The Final Noise Analysis was reviewed and approved by VDOT and FHWA in early 2020 and updated in 2022.
In January 2020, VDOT sent letters to benefited parcel owners and tenants. The letter requested the parcel owner's or tenant's "Yes" or "No" vote on the proposed noise wall or series of walls that provide a noise reduction on their parcel. Noise walls receiving at least 50% of affirmative votes based on the responses received will be incorporated into the project's construction plans. Tabulation of the results from the public input phase of the noise wall approval process took place from February to mid-April 2020.
Based on the survey of benefited parcel owners and tenants, all noise barriers that were deemed warranted, feasible, and reasonable in the Final Noise Analysis will be constructed with the project. For the specific locations of the walls, please see the project's online interactive map.
The Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project noise barriers will be constructed from concrete posts and panels. The side facing the road will have an ashlar stone pattern with a Virginia Dogwood border along the top (see rendering below), and the residential side will have a full-height ashlar stone pattern.
Image is an artistic rendering for illustrative purposes only.
VDOT Noise Wall Process at a Glance
Learn more about noise walls and Virginia’s State Noise Abatement Policy (SNAP) here.