Update on noise walls- Feb. 3, 2017
Property owners and residents who would experience a noise level reduction of at least five (5) decibels were able to vote for or against the noise wall at their location.
The votes are in and decisions about three noise walls are now final. Qualified voters had the opportunity to vote for or against building specific noise walls. As a result of these votes two of the walls will be constructed: (Wall 1A and Wall 7) and one wall will not be constructed (Wall 3).
Learn more about how votes were counted and how noise walls would impact your area by watching this video.
Proposed Noise Walls along I-494
Why build a noise wall?
Traffic noise along I-494 between Bovey Ave. in Inver Grove Heights and Hardman Ave. in South St. Paul exceeds the state's noise standards. A noise study concluded that adding noise walls at three locations along this section of I-494 would reduce noise for properties adjacent to this area by at least five decibels and meet MnDOT's cost effectiveness criteria.
Studies have shown that changes in noise levels of less than three (3) decibels are not typically detectable by the average human ear. An increase of five (5) decibels is generally noticeable by anyone, and a 10 decibel increase is usually felt to be "twice as loud."
Where would the noise walls be built and what would they look like?
The proposed noise walls are 20-foot-tall barriers built with wood planks and concrete posts. The existing noise wall along the north side of I-494 between Fifth Ave. South and Concord Ave. would be removed and replaced with a longer and taller noise wall.
When will the noise walls be built?
The proposed noise walls would be built as part of the overall construction of the I-494 Auxiliary Lane that is currently planned for the 2018 construction season.
Who was eligible to vote on whether a noise wall should be constructed?
MnDOT will sent notices and noise wall ballots to people who were eligible to vote. Only the property owners or residents who experience a noise level reduction of at least five (5) decibels from the proposed noise wall could vote on the wall.
How does voting work?
The ballots allowed you to vote for or against the noise wall that would affect your property, unit or business. If greater than 50 percent of the total eligible points are no votes the noise wall will not be constructed.
What happens if I didn't vote?
If you don't vote, your decision to not vote is not counted as a vote against or for a noise wall.
How are the votes counted?
MnDOT uses a weighted voting system. Points are determined by how much your property or unit is affected by the noise wall and whether or not you own the property or unit. If a noise wall is voted down, it will not be reconsidered.
Please see MnDOT's 2015 Noise Policy for information about the voting process.
Tally for noise wall votes
Voting results as of Fri, Oct. 21, 2016
*Votes will be tabulated again on Oct. 5, 2016 and when voting is complete (30 days following Sept. 15)
**Note: If greater than 50 percent of the total eligible points are NO, then the noise wall is removed from the project
North side of I-494 between Fifth Ave. South and Concord St.
- Total eligible points:78
- Yes points: 30 (38%)
- No points: 9 (12%)
- Results: Wall will be constructed
South side of I-494 between Blaine Ave. and Seventh Ave. South
- Total eligible points:134
- Yes points: 43 (32%)
- No points: 61 (46%)
- Results: Wall will not be constructed
North side of I-494 between Blaine Ave and Seventh Ave. South
- Total eligible points:97
- Yes points: 60 (62%)
- No points: 0 (0%)
- Results: Wall will be constructed