Development of a Highway Construction Noise Prediction Model

Project Description

Paul Carpenter Associates, Inc. (PCA) was part of a research team tasked with developing a new and improved version of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Roadway Construction Noise Model. The research project was funded through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). PCA was responsible for developing the database of construction equipment and noise source levels for incorporation into the model as well as documenting its appropriate applications.

PCA performed an extensive construction equipment literature search to identify the commercially available size and range of construction equipment utilized on construction sites nationwide. As part of the literature search, the available size ranges of common construction equipment were identified. PCA also developed a survey, which was distributed to noise subject matter experts at each State Department of Transportation (DOT). The intent of the survey was to solicit information from DOTs on unique pieces of construction equipment utilized on projects within their state as well as to identify critical noise metrics desired when performing construction noise impact analyses. Subsequently, a targeted list of construction equipment and available size ranges was developed.

PCA traveled around the country to major construction project sites in order to locate equipment on the targeted construction equipment list in the available size ranges identified from the literature review. PCA documented noise source levels of 69 individual pieces of construction equipment at 133 construction sites. All data was efficiently processed utilizing a unique data post-processing tool developed by PCA. All source noise levels as well as supportive photos depicting equipment dimensions, videos, and analyses of average noise levels based on all size ranges documented, were provided to NCHRP on a password-protected Noise Source Database.

PCA prepared an interim report and presented the results of the data collection program to the research panel in Washington, D.C.