Lincoln Tunnel Structural Rehabilitation and Repaving of Helix Deck Noise and Vibration Compliance Monitoring

Project Description

The Route 495 approach to/departure from the Lincoln Tunnel, most notably referred to as the "Helix", is traveled by millions of vehicles each year going to and from New York City. Since the original structure is more than 70 years old, crucial infrastructure improvements were needed in order to extend the life of the roadway and accommodate the ever increasing volume of vehicles.

Paul Carpenter Associates, Inc. (PCA) documented background noise and vibration levels adjacent to the Lincoln Tunnel Helix structure proposed work areas for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ). Based on data documented, PCA developed project-specific noise criteria for inclusion within contract specifications. Utilizing the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Roadway Construction Noise Model (RCNM), PCA performed noise level predictions based on several construction cases assuming reasonable mitigation measures. Based on this pre-construction analysis, PCA was able to assist PANYNJ Public Relations personnel in identifying critical residential areas which may be subjected to high construction-related noise levels.

Prior to construction activities, PCA implemented a state-of-the-art remote monitoring system. The remote monitoring system included three noise monitoring terminals (NMTs) and one roving vibration monitor to track compliance of contract noise and vibration specifications. NMTs were strategically installed by PCA throughout the study area.

PCA established a real-time noise monitoring system which transmitted data continuously to a project-specific server via cellular technology. PCA created an innovative compliance website utilizing the databases from NMTs. The website displayed current and archived data within graphs and tables, allowing users to quickly identify real-time noise compliance. In addition, PCA’s web interface included automatic e-mail alerts warning of any vibration/noise exceedance or equipment malfunction. In addition, the NMTs were programmed to capture audio files once noise levels reached specific trigger levels. Audio files were automatically uploaded to compliance website, allowing users to playback audio files directly from the website or download for further review. PCA also developed website data views and reporting periods based on facility requirements.

PCA reviewed and provided comments related to the contractor Noise Control and Mitigation Plans. In addition, PANYNJ requested PCA provide on-site Noise Control Officers (NCOs) during all overnight construction periods. NCOs were responsible for submitting daily reports through an innovative field report module developed by PCA.