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Project Experience: Engine Braking Noise Study, Virginia

The Challenge

Due to hilly terrain with signalized intersections on Routes 17 and 50 in Paris and Delaplane Virginia, many truck operators were using engine braking ("Jake Brakes") to slow their vehicles.  Long-term noise measurements were need in several nearby residential areas where complaints had arisen.

The Strategy

HMMH conducted noise monitoring that included simultaneous logging of the engine braking events and their maximum sound levels.

The Solution

The Virginia Department of Transportation implemented different noise abatement measures to limit the truck braking activity, including:

  • Lowering posted speed limits
  • Placing several signs requesting limited use of engine braking
  • Installing rumble strips near a railroad crossing

Measurements conducted after the implementation of the various noise abatement measures showed modest reductions in engine braking noise.