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Residents to GDOT: Add more noise barriers

Wednesday night's GDOT meeting was supposed to let residents know how proposed noise barriers on I-75 would look, but some residents wanted GDOT to address the walls possibly not being enough protection.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - I-75 can be a loud place for most of the day--cars blowing by and engines are roaring.

Wednesday night's GDOT meeting was supposed to let residents know how proposed noise barriers would look, but a couple of residents wanted GDOT officials to address concerns about the walls possibly not being enough protection.

The meeting quickly turned from a discussion about the way the wall looks to answering questions from concerned citizens about how long the wall would be.

There wasn't a lot of the public at the meeting, but those who did show up had something loud to say.

GDOT was happy to answer, but it didn't please everyone.

Lots of speedy cars make a lot of noise.

"It's just a constant roar," said Winship Hills resident Nick Pietrzak. "A lot of thumpity thumps as it goes over the bridges."

And for Pietrzak, that's a hassle.

"This is the Winship Hills area," said Pietrzak. "It's always been a noisy problem from the interstate."

Interstate 75 runs right next to his neighborhood, rushing toward downtown Macon.

GDOT, along with consultant Moreland Altobelli, wants to build a nearly 30-foot concrete wall between the interstate and Winship Hills to turn the volume down.

But Pietrazk isn't satisfied.

"GDOT is proposing a barrier that is about 1000 feet long for one little piece of the neighborhood," said Pietrzak. "The rest of the neighborhood gets no protection."

Noise specialist Karla Poshedly says the wall can only go so far.

"There's a criteria that we use that equates a certain amount of money per home and we look at the cost of the wall and we compare those--whether it is cost effective to build the wall," said Poshedly.

If you stretch the wall toward downtown, there's only two houses that could benefit, and the cost is heavy.

"Those two houses also are located on a very high elevation above the freeway so we would have to go a full 30 feet to try to reduce the noise levels, so the cost would become prohibitive," said Poshedly.

But Pietrazk says he's going to keep fighting.

"All we want is a barrier for the whole neighborhood," said Pietrzak. "I don't care what it is."

So for the future, at least there will be some relief as cars continue to speed by.

Construction on the proposed barriers would tentatively begin in 2018.

It's part of a bigger plan that would also bring more lanes to interstate 75 throughout Macon.

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