Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chesterfield Residents Sound Alarm for a Sound Wall

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chesterfield Residents Sound Alarm for a Sound Wall

Article excerpt

Crews this week are slated replace some sound-wall panels along Highway 40 (Interstate 64) taken down this fall after cracks were found, work that was planned for last week but postponed due to copious amounts of rain.

Several miles west, in the Royalwood subdivision in Chesterfield just off the South Outer Forty Road that runs parallel to the interstate some residents wish the workers would come erect a wall to shield their homes from the traffic noise.

Although a recent sound study showed the decibel level in their neighborhood from interstate traffic met the criteria for a wall, the cost to build one there was determined to be too high, the Missouri Department of Transportation found.

"We've been asking for a sound wall for years," said Jay Kirschbaum, a subdivision trustee who moved there in 1991.

Back then, the outer road was higher than the interstate and absorbed much of the sound, he said. But traffic noise has increased through the years, prompting several pleas from Royalwood residents for a sound wall.

And now a major interstate project is underway near their homes, and the push for a wall in once again is in full force.

"You can't have a conversation in my backyard," said Jim Spillers, a former subdivision trustee who has lived there for nearly 30 years.

Their latest effort to get a wall comes as MoDOT aims to reduce congestion on Highway 40 between Interstate 270 and Olive Boulevard- Clarkson Road, a project that includes adding a westbound lane for that entire stretch and adding an eastbound lane between Highway 141 and Interstate 270.

Nearly 150,000 vehicles travel that section of the interstate in a day, and MoDOT predicts that number could grow to more than 175,000 cars in 20 years.

"The levels of eastbound congestion in the morning and westbound congestion in the evening will continue to increase in the area if nothing is done," MoDOT said in a project summary.

Kirschbaum and Spillers want the project to include building a sound wall to negate the noise in their subdivision of roughly 60 homes, where a four-bedroom, three-bath house recently sold for $340,000. The homes were built in the late 1970s and 1980s, before much of the development of west St. …

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