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Preliminary Noise Analysis and Barrier Design for Little Cuyahoga River Valley Bridge

Gannett Fleming acoustical experts recommend ways to mitigate noise impacts on area neighborhoods.

  • Aerial image of Little Cuyahoga River Valley Bridge showing surrounding trees and neighborhoods - Gannett Fleming.

    Built in 1953, the bridge carries an average of 116,150 vehicles per day, including 9,550 trucks.

  • Diagram showing an aerial view of neighborhoods surrounding the bridge and the planned location of noise barriers - Gannett Fleming.

    Engineers designed 65,034-square-feet of barriers to reduce bridge noise in area neighborhoods.

  • Second diagram showing noise barrier locations with colored lines indicating areas that will benefit from and be impacted by barriers - Gannett Fleming.

    Preliminary design identifies benefits and impacts to nearby properties from barrier construction.

Ohio Department of Transportation

Akron, Ohio

Our Role
Preliminary Engineering Noise Analysis, Noise Barrier Design.

65,034 sq. feet of noise barriers
2 years 6 months
  • All feasible and reasonable noise abatement measures were explored
  • Addressed public concerns received through mailed and door-to-door surveys
  • Noise barriers designed to mitigate impact on area neighborhoods.

The S.R. 8 High Level Bridge over the Little Cuyahoga River was originally built in 1953 as a major component of the Akron Expressway System. At 1,502-feet-long, it was designed as a large deck truss with three central spans flanked by a 3-span continuous girder superstructure to the south, and a 2-span continuous girder superstructure to the north. The six-lane urban bridge carries an average of more than 116,150 vehicles per day, including 9,550 trucks.

In recent years, the bridge has undergone numerous substructure, deck, joint, and gusset repairs; however, concerns over the deck truss gusset plates and the volume of traffic prompted the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to consider replacing the bridge. ODOT hired Gannett Fleming to explore options for the construction of a replacement bridge, including feasible alignments, structures, and span arrangements. As a part of the study, acoustical specialists analyzed noise impacts and other bridge-related environmental effects.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming performed a noise study and evaluated abatement options for noise sensitive areas that met ODOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Type I criteria. The team considered all feasible and reasonable noise mitigation measures and encouraged public participation on ODOT’s behalf though mailed and door-to-door surveys.

The study resulted in the preliminary design of 65,034-square-feet of barriers to reduce noise levels in four area neighborhoods. The design specifies the length, height, and location of the barriers, and estimates their construction cost at $1.6 million.

Key Features

  • Studied noise level compliance with state and federal standards
  • Identified options for mitigating noise impacts in conjunction with bridge replacement
  • Engaged public in decision-making regarding noise abatement
  • Provided ODOT with a preliminary design and cost estimate for noise barrier construction.

Similar Projects: Acoustics, Transportation: Highways, Environmental Management & Remediation: NEPA Compliance & Documentation