New noise walls part of I-35W project

New noise walls could go up along the freeway as part of the I-35W Transit/Access Project slated for 2017.

New noise wall locations include East 17th Street between 1st and 3rd avenues and Stevens Avenue South between 36th and 38th streets.

The locations are based on projections of current and future traffic noise in areas where new walls are deemed cost-effective.

The new walls would stand 15 feet high in Stevens Square and 20 feet in Kingfield, and would reduce sound by at least five decibels. (The difference between silence and audible sound is three decibels.) The design would be similar to the new noise walls in the I-35W/Crosstown reconstruction project.

Existing noise walls built 20-30 years ago would also be replaced as part of the project in neighborhoods including Stevens Square, Whittier and Lyndale.

The noise walls will go up unless more than 50 percent of benefited residents vote them down.

Hennepin County Engineer Jim Grube said some residents object to noise walls due to impeded views, shadowing and safety concerns.

In Lyndale, neighborhood association staff are asking the county to rebuild the wall 6-12 feet east of its current location, to allow for tree planting.

The I-35W project features a new southbound exit ramp from I-35W to Lake and a new northbound exit ramp from I-35W to 28th Street. The project includes a two-level Bus Rapid Transit station at Lake Street, a bicycle connection between the Greenway and Lake Street, and new bridges at 31st Street, Lake Street, the Midtown Greenway and 28th Street.

For more information, visit 35lake.com.