Over the years, traffic noise continues to be a bother and a hindrance to peaceful stays and development. As the numbers of highways keep increasing, so does the overall noise pollution. However, to keep such noise in check, the highway noise barriers were designed and erected. They were explicitly put up to mitigate the traffic noise effects along most highways, a move that has had significant positive and negative effects.
The Design of Highway Noise Barriers
Highway sound barriers are critical structural components that must be designed to meet their intended purpose. Several key factors are looked at when designing highway noise barriers to minimize highway traffic noise.
Noise Mitigation Capability
It is quite apparent that the right material must be used for this component to serve its purpose. Therefore, during design, the proper soundproof material has to be used during the construction or manufacture of the highway sound barrier.
Highway noise barriers have to be appealing to the eye. A decently built highway will also require an equally beautiful noise barrier to ensure the whole road project is aesthetic.
Cost dictates the type of highway noise barrier to be designed. Very effective highway noise barriers are costly compared to less effective ones.
The structural effectiveness of all highway noise barriers is critical during their design. Aspects such as wind, tremors, and weight are used during their structural design. A proper highway noise barrier can withstand all these forces during its design period.
The Advantages of Highway Noise Barriers
Highway noise barriers help reduce headaches and hearing problems associated with loud traffic noises. Most people who work along major highways admit to having a hard time concentrating in meetings or leaving work with a bad headache. Noise barriers come in handy to reduce such occurrences.
Highway sound barriers have improved work production in companies and other facilities. However, highway traffic noise comes as a significant distraction to many businesses that operate adjacent to major highways. In addition, meetings cannot be held peacefully or clients handled precisely.
Also, highway noise barriers have improved rest among people living near highways. A sound night’s sleep is key to being productive the next day.
The Disadvantages of Highway Noise Barriers
Poorly done or designed highway noise barriers are known to cause the reflection of noise. Reflected noise can be directed towards homes or institutions, causing concentrated noise that hinders production.
Such reflected sound can have detrimental side effects on people within the radius. It may result in circulatory issues, including stroke and high blood pressure. It may also result in a lack of sleep and nervous problems such as depression and irritability.
In conclusion, the highway noise barrier is a critical component that serves to help reduce noise originating from highway traffic. It bears plenty of advantages as long as it is appropriately designed and installed. If not done correctly, it harbors several adverse effects. It is a masterpiece that is slowly gaining ground!