Berm to dampen Ray Gibbon noise
City builds large dirt mound to cut noise from future road stage
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 06:00 am
The city has killed two birds with one pile of dirt, so to speak.
While excavating behind North Ridge last year in preparation for the construction of stage three of Ray Gibbon Drive, project manager Larry Galye decided to use the excavated soil and clay to build a berm. This saved the city the cost of hauling the dirt away and will provide area residents with sound attenuation that wasn’t in the original plan.
“It would be a good location to save us the expense of moving it from the site, but at the same time it would build a visual and noise screen between the residential development and the roadway itself,” Galye said.
Residents in North Ridge have been sharing some of their concerns about future noise pollution for a couple of years now, worried that once the city finishes construction of stage three of Ray Gibbon Drive – from Giroux Road to Villeneuve Road – the noise from traffic right behind their houses will become unbearable.
So Galye and the team working on the road decided to use all the leftover soil and clay to build a four-metre-tall berm on a small landlocked parcel of land owned by the city to reduce some of the noise.
“It was a dual-purpose win,” Galye said. “We didn’t have to pay all that extra money and we created the barrier.”
The city got some additional good news about the berm last week as it announced the province had endorsed the berm’s construction.
That’s significant, said Mayor Nolan Crouse, because the road plan did not call for any kind of noise attenuation measures. When Ray Gibbon Drive is eventually expanded into a six-to-eight-lane provincial highway some kind of barrier will be necessary.
“So what the province did was look at the berm and said, ‘Great. Nothing else is needed,’” Crouse said.
Crouse said he’ll be asking the city to put together a communications’ strategy to let North Ridge residents know what’s happened.
All that’s needed now is to add some topsoil and grass seed, Galye said. He is also looking into doing some noise modelling in the area to see if the berm will reduce the amount of noise the city expects.
“There was one (noise model) done with the functional plan that required a 3.5-metre noise wall, so I actually am getting a quote just to do a model based on what we have there to see if any changes need to be made,” Galye said.
Construction of stage three of Ray Gibbon Drive was supposed to be completed last summer, but wet weather created a significant delay. The city plans to finish the road this summer.