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Project Experience: FDR Drive Noise Barrier Design, New York

The Challenge

Noise impacts needed to be minimized in residential areas abutting FDR Drive between 54th Street and 59th Street in New York City during a multi-year rehabilitation project.

The Strategy


  • Conducted specialized noise monitoring, including the upper stories of residential buildings
  • Used the Traffic Noise Model (TNM) and proprietary noise models to analyze noise from semi-enclosed portions of FDR Drive and to assess the effectiveness of mitigation measures for the “Outboard Alignment,” a temporary detour roadway constructed on pilings in the East River
  • Recommended a noise mitigation design consisting of a vertical wall along the edge of the Outboard Alignment with a canopy extending almost entirely over the three northbound travel lanes

The Solution

The proposed design effectively maintained traffic noise levels within New York City limits and minimized community complaints throughout the period of construction.