Thursday, January 20, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freeway expansion should include sound barriers for nearby neighborhoods
In response to numerous complaints from residents of increased highway noise in their neighborhood due to the recent expansion of the Loop-101 in North Phoenix, Senator Paul Boyer (R-20) and Representative Shawnna LM Bolick (R-20) introduced a bill aimed at fixing the problem.
SB 1193 would appropriate $7.25 million to construct a 20-foot sound barrier for a community just off the eastbound lanes of L-101 and 16th street. This dollar figure is the estimate provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation to complete the project.
"Large sound barriers, of about 20-feet high, were installed for an area along the freeway with a storage facility as well as two areas with wildlife preserves. Unfortunately, ADOT did not provide this same noise protection for the people living nearby," said Senator Boyer. "This includes veterans suffering from PTSD who are being triggered by the noise, as well as a residential area designed for those dealing with disabilities. Instead, a three-foot-tall jersey barrier was installed. In no way, shape or form does this provide any sort of adequate relief for these residents."
In an effort to support the growth that Arizona is experiencing, ADOT widened the L-101 from North Phoenix to Scottsdale, but it is unclear why engineers chose to install these massive sound barriers where actual people do not live. When asked to provide these additional sound barriers to protect this community with vulnerable residents, ADOT declined.
“For residents who live along the 16th Street/101 corridor, many of whom are families, veterans, and adults with special needs, there has been simply no escape from the highway noise,” said Representative Bolick. “The state’s response to this serious and ongoing concern has been insufficient, and it needs to get fixed now. SB 1193 is needed to get the job done, to ensure ADOT has the resources to construct an effective sound wall that reduces the constant disruptive noise.”
This bill is co-sponsored by Majority Whip Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-5), Representative Quang Nguyen (R-1) and Representative Judy Schwiebert (D-20).
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus