Two area townships to receive turnpike sound barriers

Bordentown, Chesterfield townships to benefit

By:Vanessa S. Holt
   Two northern Burlington County municipalities along the New Jersey Turnpike will receive sound barriers this year to reduce the impact of highway noise on residents.
   On April 9, it was announced by turnpike officials that Bordentown Township is slated to receive a 3,000-foot barrier running along the section of the turnpike near Williamsburg Village and Exit 7.
   Also, Chesterfield Township will receive an 800-foot barrier in the area of Daniel Avenue.
   The barrier in Bordentown Township will be erected on the turnpike’s right of way beginning at milepost 53.90, extending over Hall’s Creek and the Turnpike Authority bridge that runs over Bordentown-Georgetown Road.
   The sound barrier, which ranges in height from 16 to 21 feet, will continue to milepost 54.45 in Bordentown Township.
   In Chesterfield Township, the 15-foot-high will begin approximately 350 feet south of Daniel Avenue and extend north to milepost 55.09.
   Construction of the barriers is expected to take about 15 months, said turnpike officials. The starting date for construction has not yet been set.
   Bordentown Township Administrator John Mason said the Township Committee had requested sound barriers several years ago because of a new residential development adjacent to the turnpike.
   The township is now hoping to have an additional 800 feet of barrier added to the 3,000 feet currently planned by the Turnpike Authority to close a gap in the proposed barrier near the Holloway Meadows development.
   "Residents asked that we look into it," said Mr. Mason. "It is the committee’s desire to look into getting it closed."
   Mr. Mason added that township officials were "a little puzzled" by the gap in the barrier near the Holloway Meadows development but were planning to meet with Turnpike Authority officials to discuss the issue.
   "They are receptive to a meeting," he said, though no date had been set as of Tuesday.
   Mr. Mason said the township has previously received noise complaints from residents who live near the turnpike.
   "We think this will significantly improve the quality of life of residents in those areas," he said.
   Noise levels and projected cost are the main factors in determining which areas receive sound barriers. Turnpike officials said very little money is available for sound barrier construction so requests for barriers are considered according to several criteria.
   The Turnpike Authority is not required by law to construct sound barriers.
   According to the NJ Turnpike Web site, noise levels must exceed 67 decibels during the peak noise hour outside homes adjacent to the turnpike to qualify for barriers.
   The proposed barriers must reduce the noise level by at least four decibels and the cost per affected dwelling unit must be less than $45,000.
   The maximum height for a sound barrier is 26 feet.