Highway Sound Barriers: Here’s What You Need To Know

Highway Sound Barriers: Here’s What You Need To Know

Every day, countless vehicles travel on highways and generate significant noise that can adversely affect nearby residential and commercial areas. 

To remedy this, highway sound barriers, also referred to as highway noise barriers, can be installed to improve the public environments and spaces surrounding the highways. 

What’s Are Highway Sound Barriers

A highway sound barrier is a wall that is constructed between the noise source (highway traffic) and the areas that require noise insulation (neighborhoods and public spaces). 

Although they do not completely eliminate noise, they can significantly reduce its impact by deflecting, absorbing, or transmitting sound waves. The effectiveness of a sound barrier depends on its height, length, and material composition, which can prevent sound waves from passing over or around it into quieter zones. Each sound barrier project is unique and requires careful consideration.

Sound barriers are incredibly effective when designed and installed properly. When looking at barrier wall systems, it is important to work with companies that have experience with acoustical panels and noise mitigation. 

Barrier wall systems like those from Metal Form Manufacturing are carefully designed to meet specifications while using the experience they have acquired through decades of noise mitigation work.

Types of Highway Sound Barriers

Throughout the U.S., more than 3,800 miles of sound barriers have been erected. The sound barriers are made from many different materials and designs depending on the location and application. Some of the most popular types are:

  • Metal
  • Block
  • Concrete
  • Wood

Metal barriers are durable and provide excellent noise reflection. Metal barriers are often long lasting and easier to deploy than other types. Concrete is known for its strength and longevity, and is a common choice for permanent noise reduction solutions. While aesthetically pleasing, wood offers moderate noise absorption but may require more maintenance.

It is also important to note that some sound barriers use a blend of materials to meet the required aesthetics and specifications. Each material offers unique benefits, such as durability and noise absorption levels. Selecting the right material often depends on specific environmental and budgetary needs.

Styles and Designs of Sound Barriers

Highway sound barriers can not only be functional but also designed to enhance the visual appeal of the area. 

The two main designs are reflective sound barriers and absorptive sound barriers.

Reflective Sound Barriers

Reflective barriers simply bounce sound waves away from the protected area, usually back towards the source or upwards. All sound barriers are typically reflective in nature since they provide a physical obstruction between the noise source and the area being protected.

Absorptive Barriers

Absorptive barriers are designed to absorb sound waves in order to prevent them from reflecting back into the environment. Absorptive materials work well to reduce the amount of sound reflected away by the sound barriers themselves.

Benefits of Installing Highway Sound Barriers

Installing sound barriers along highways provides numerous benefits. Barriers significantly lower the levels of noise from traffic to contribute to a quieter and more serene environment. Sound barriers are often deployed as part of new highway construction to limit the impact on surrounding areas.

Properties near highways with sound barriers often have higher values due to reduced noise levels. Without the sound barrier, these properties would be continuously battered by traffic noise. Reduced noise pollution can also lead to better quality of life, less stress, and healthier living conditions for nearby residents.

Installation and Maintenance

The installation of highway sound barriers typically involves planning for the barrier layout and foundation, followed by the assembly of barrier panels. Highway sound barrier installation requires significant planning and construction due to the scope of most projects. 

Partnering with experienced vendors, such as Metal Form Manufacturing helps streamline this process. Although maintenance requirements are generally low, especially for durable materials like metal and concrete, which are designed to withstand various weather conditions and environmental stresses.

Metal Form Manufacturing Acoustical Barrier Wall Systems

Highway sound barriers are a critical component in managing urban noise pollution. With advanced solutions like those offered by Metal Form Manufacturing, communities can effectively shield themselves from the disruptive noises of busy highways. These barriers not only enhance the quality of life, they also support sustainable urban development by integrating innovative designs and materials.

Metal Form Manufacturing offers a range of acoustical barrier wall systems that stand out for their effectiveness and reliability. These systems are designed to meet diverse needs and are built with materials that ensure long-lasting performance and minimal maintenance. 

To learn more about highway sound barriers, reach out to their noise control experts today!