FOX4 Troubleshooter: Noise problems from interstate expansion
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED May. 21, 2013
North Fort Myers, Fla.- When people complain about highway construction it's usually about those orange barrels. But some residents are fed up with the noise. People living on a busy stretch of I-75 want to know what can be done to keep the volume down. Four In Your Corner's Dave Culbreth working to get them answers.
It's usually about those miserable orange barrels but after the construction is done... all's well, right? Not necessarily. Because then comes more noise.
"It's really bad. It's really loud. And this is light traffic right now and you can listen to it,” says Mike Radford who lives in an area east of I-75 in North Fort Myers. “We have to raise our voice a little bit just to be able to speak. That's why I called you guys to get somebody maybe that can help us out with this."
Four years ago Radford and his wife bought a house on a lake next to I-75. He says he knew then the noise was a little loud but it was tolerable. Now, though, the state is expanding north of Bayshore Road to the Charlotte County line from four lanes to six, which means more traffic and a lot more noise. "We didn't know about this until they sent us a pamphlet that said this is what we're fixin to do,” added Radford.
FOX4 took Radford’s concerns to the Florida Department of Transportation where we were told it's not a simple issue. "Would that reduce noise by at least 5 decibels per benefited receiver?” said spokesman David Parks. “If it does then the next criteria was is the cost reasonable, and are there enough homes that would benefit by that noise wall to average out to where it would be good use of taxpayer dollars?"
He says the answer in this neighborhood is no. "A total of 31sites were evaluated for a noise wall that was just over 4,000 feet long, 22 foot high. The cost for building that wall was just over 2.2 million dollars," added Parks. That's a cost of $71,000 per home.
Troubleshooter reporter asked; "What would you say to somebody who says, well I realize that but I bought eight acres and I don't want the noise either? Parks responded, “obviously it's difficult for anyone in that situation but they need to understand that we've got to use the taxpayer dollars as best we can."
"I don't know what to do,” sighed Radford. “I just think, you know, I guess shame on us for living here."
And here’s the kicker, we’re told residents were told in 2006 that the workd was going to happen. But the Radford’s didn’t live there then. You see, he bought the house in 2009 and says they had no idea that the noise was coming.