UDOT Berm/Wall Cost Violation

 

The second noise barrier proposal from UDOT is a berm/wall combination.  But according to UDOT Noise Policy, there is no provision for a berm/wall combination noise barrier.  The only permissible noise barrier in Utah is a noise wall.

Federal regulations state that a noise barrier may be a noise wall, a berm or a berm/wall combination. UDOT specifically and with intent adopted its Noise Policy by only specifying a noise wall as a noise barrier and specifically did not include a berm or a berm/wall combination as a noise barrier.  Therefore, proposing and balloting a berm/wall combination is a violation of Utah Noise Policy.

Furthermore, “23 CFR 772.11, Analysis of traffic noise impacts, ( c ) says a traffic noise analysis shall be completed for: ( 1 ) Each alternative under detailed study, ( 2 ) Each Activity Category of the NAC listed in Table 1 that is present in the study area.”  We do not believe a separate traffic noise analysis was done for the berm/wall combination.

Also for the non-allowable berm/wall proposal, Lochner states that 2373 feet of the berm/wall is now intended to protect the recreational area and 852 feet of the berm/wall is intended to protect the residential area.  Lochner also states that there are 10 benefited receptors protected by the residential portion of the wall.

The maximum allowable cost of the portion of the berm/wall intended to protect the residential area is $30,000 per benefited receptor times 10 benefited receptors equals $300,000.   The maximum allowable cost of the portion of the berm/wall intended to protect the recreational area is 2373 feet times $360 per lineal foot which equals $854,280.  The maximum allowable cost of the two combined berm/walls is $1,154,280. 

When you add the cost of the wall and the cost of items critical to safety and the cost of the berm, either as part of the barrier cost or as part of the cost of items critical to safety, the total cost is $743,960 plus $397,994 plus $171,118 which equals $1,313,072.  This exceeds the maximum allowable cost of $1,154,280, so the berm/wall is not cost reasonable.