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Noise Barrier Design - Visual Quality

DOT Trisk Symbol Memorandum
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Subject: Technology Transfer - Implementation  Package 77-12,
"A Guide to Visual Quality in Noise Barrier Design
Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas"
Date:  July 13, 1979
From: Chief, Implementation Division
Office of Development
Reply to
Attn. of: 
HDV-21
To: Regional Federal Highway Administrators
Regions 1, 3 through 10
Regional Engineer, Region 15

As a result of the growing national environmental awareness, the need for highway noise abatement has been recognized by highway agencies throughout the country. Noise abatement features consisting of a wall or an earth berm, or a combination of the two, along with landscaping have emerged as the most commonly used design solutions for reducing highway traffic generated noise to acceptable levels. Having been provided the technical tools to design highway noise barriers acoustically and structurally, there is now a need to provide the designer with guidance for designing and installing esthetically pleasing noise abatement systems. The subject implementation package was prepared and is being. distributed to satisfy that need.

Implementation Package 77-12, "A Guide to Visual Quality in Noise Barrier Design" introduces the basic principles of visual quality in general terms and illustrates the application of these principles to the design of highway noise barriers. It shows how visual design principles can be incorporated into the design process of highway noise barriers. It also. illustrates the potential visual problems created by the construction of noise barriers and identifies design measures which minimize their visual disruption of the environment.

The implementation package will be of great interest and value to highway designers,.highway officials and environmental groups as well as others who are concerned with fitting the highway into the environment. A slide/tape presentation on the subject has been prepared and will be distributed soon.

Distribution of the implementation package is being made in accordance with the standard distribution set up by the Implementation Division in the memorandum "Technology Transfer -Implementation Division Distribution Procedures" dated December 6, 1977. Additional copies have been added for insertion into each Highway Noise Notebook in the region, division and State.

A secondary distribution of brochures announcing the implementation package will follow in approximately 4 weeks in accordance with the distribution procedures. Copies of the brochure will also be sent to engineering colleges, AASHTO, ARTBA, ASCE, ASPE, American Consulting Engineers Council and the National Association of County Engineers.

We will appreciate receiving from you information on user receptivity and experience in using this guide. Your suggestions for expanding the suitable audience would also be of help.

Additional copies are available from Raymond F. Bova, Implementation Division, HDV-21, Washington, D.C. 20590.

For additional information on the subject of visual quality, please contact Mr. K. C. Anderson, HEV-22, Washington, D.C. 20590.

(Original signed by)
Milton P. Criswell


(UPDATE OF 3/15/02: Please contact Bob Armstrong at (202) 366-2073)

Updated: 07/06/2011
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