Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 09/28/2016  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a presentation regarding roadway noise (as requested by Director Bunch);
FISCAL IMPACT:
BACKGROUND:
Director Bunch requested an agenda item to discuss road noise, based on concerns raised by residents who live in the area of Gosling Road from Woodlands Parkway to Flintridge.

The issue of sound walls / berms to mitigate roadway noise has been raised on numerous occasions. This issue has been raised by residents in the Village of Grogan’s Mill that back up to the I-45 feeder road, residents in the FM 2978 area, residents in the SH 242 area, residents in the villages of Grogan's Mill and Panther Creek that back up to Woodlands Parkway and residents adjacent to Woodlands Parkway from East Panther Creek to Kuykendahl Road. 
 
To date, the Township has not funded or built sound walls or berms, or paid for other sound mitigation features. The Township does not own the roadways or major road rights of way, and is not responsible for road construction, bridge construction or traffic control as the roadways in The Township are owned and controlled by Montgomery County, Harris County and the TxDOT.

When roadways are widened using state or federal funding, sound mitigation is typically part of the environmental assessment process required by regulations that govern new road construction projects. In these “new” projects, The Woodlands Township may be able to assist residents by encouraging TxDOT or the County to consider sound mitigation features as part of the construction design. However, any effort to get consideration of sound mitigation projects funded on “existing” roadways becomes much more difficult because of the shortage of highway funds. In addition, if a roadway project does not use state or federal money for the project, then there may not be a legal requirement for any sound mitigation measures. 

The Township does not have staff expertise to address roadway noise mitigation. Should the Township Board decide to consider funding sound mitigation projects on existing Township roadways, staff suggests retaining  professional engineering expertise to assist the Board in determining where sound mitigation projects should be considered.
RECOMMENDATION:
Board to determine action.

    

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