Improve FHWA's Traffic Noise Model to Expand its Acoustical Capabilities
Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process
Research Idea Scope
Since the release of the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM), users have identified additional factors that affect highway traffic noise prediction. Improvement of the model’s acoustical capabilities will allow a more accurate and efficient analysis of traffic noise impacts and the development of more cost-effective noise mitigation. Proposed Research – Step 1: Complete a synthesis of existing work first to identify the research gaps for the areas identified in Step 2. Step 2: Identify issues that are significant contributing factors to undesirable noise levels. Make recommendations on how to proceed in addressing the issues whether through additional features in TNM or implementation of BMP’s. Issues may include but are not limited to: 1. Effects of Structure-Reflected and Generated Noise Receptors adjacent to bridge structures are often subjected to undesirable noise levels, even after noise barriers are constructed on the structure. The cause of such noise is unclear; for example, does the noise result from vibration of the structure deck, does the noise result from factors related to different structure designs (open beam, box girder, reinforced concrete slab, etc.), or are other factors involved? The research will determine the mechanisms and/or sources of the noise emissions and if there are ways to mitigate the situation. Another issue relates to the degree of influence that may exist due to the open median area between parallel bridges and how this may influence overall noise levels. The research will determine the source or sources of noise/vibration emissions from bridge structures and quantify the differences that may be associated with various bridge designs. Feasible mitigation measures and design approaches to minimize structure noise will be evaluated. 2. Noise Associated with Weigh Stations, Rest Areas, Service Plazas, and Toll Facilities Traffic and activities in these areas affect adjacent property owners. Techniques need to be developed and evaluated to address noise-producing activities, such as truck idling, express lanes, tollbooth activities (including associated acceleration and deceleration), etc. The research will develop measurement and modeling techniques that accurately address noise associated with these activities.
Urgency and Payoff
Since the release of the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM), users have identified additional
factors that affect highway traffic noise prediction. Improvement of the model’s acoustical
capabilities will allow a more accurate and efficient analysis of traffic noise impacts and the
development of more cost-effective noise mitigation.
Transportation Research Board 2002 Environmental Research Needs Conference Notes Updated by SCOE Highway Traffic Noise Work Group, 2009