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Why Parts of Southwestern Conn. Have No Sound Barriers

ConnDOT says that it has no plans to build sound barriers in southwestern Connecticut any time in the near future, because:

  • No federal funds are available for “retrofit” sound barrier projects (projects where there has been no significant expansion or other modification to the highway — also referred to as “Type II” projects) and
  • ConnDOT does not have state funds available for sound barrier construction, because other projects have higher priority.

ConnDOT says that Wesport, for example, did not receive sound barriers in the past, when other locations did get barriers, because the other locations were considered a higher priority, based on the State’s method for assessing the likely benefit and value of the noise reduction the barriers would provide. The state uses a formula to assign a Project Priority Ranking Number (PPRN) to each location where sound barriers are being considered. The formula considers factors such as noise levels, number of affected households built before and after the highway, and the cost of the project.

ConnDOT’s 1995 listing of sites proposed for “retrofit” noise barriers includes nine locations in Westport. However, on that list, the Westport site with the highest priority ranked 65th statewide.