I-93 noise a big upset for Windham neighborhood
On a recent morning on Squire Armour Road — a well-populated cul-de-sac that abuts the expanding interstate — the constant roar of jackhammers and backhoes kept time with the sounds of passing commuters.
Those in the neighborhood who live with the daily road and construction noise expressed concerns about their quality of life, along with worries about their property values.
“A lot of trees were cut down,” said McNulty, who works from home most days. “So right now we can see right onto the highway from our yards.”
“Right now there are four lanes,” McNulty said. “What’s going to happen when there are four more lanes and the whole highway is 100 feet closer to us? It’s definitely concerning.”
A noise impact study and barrier evaluation was completed at Squire Armour Road in fall 2011.
In a letter dated Sept. 19, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, told the Squire Armor residents that she sympathized with their situation and had recently contacted the state Department of Transportation on their behalf.
While its been confirmed that the sound level along Squire Armour does exceed the FHWA’s Noise Abatement Criteria level of 67 decibels, installing a sound wall in this area still “isn’t cost-effective.”
“We recognize this is a difficult situation for those located next to the project experiencing highway noise,” Clement said. “However … this decision is consistent with other difficult decisions relating to noise abatement made along the I-93 corridor and other locations throughout the state.”
Last summer, a study committee was formed with the goal of taking a second look at residential noise concerns surrounding the highway project.
He noted that a total of 300 households statewide are affected by the I-93 noise, including the “non-qualified” residences at Squire Armour Drive.
“Hopefully, they can at least go in and plant some more trees once construction is done,” Scott said. “That would at least provide a bit of relief for these folks in the meantime.”
The Salem Observer
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