Sound wall cops a blast

A SOUND wall installed at the Northlink highway upgrade doesn’t block out the din of roaring trucks, says Bayswater’s Houghton Park residents.

In March, Bayswater councillor Chris Cornish raised concerns that the planned wall was far too short to mitigate the sound of trucks that’d be routed along the upgraded highway.

At the time, Main Roads told the Voice they’d work with contractors John Holland to address the concerns, but as the trucks started to roll past this month, resident Charlotte McConnell says, “I’ve been gutted with what’s eventuated.

“From my kitchen window I can now see trucks rumbling past … when they started using that road I cried, I was absolutely gutted.”

Neighbour Kaveri Temple copped a double-whammy. There’s a gap in the wall at her back fence which acts as a funnel for both noise and dust, while out the front the wall’s too short and she’s now looking straight up the road into the traffic.

Over her back fence she has a clear view of the trucks rolling past.

• Bayswater councillors Chirs Cornish (left) and Sally Palmer (right) with Houghton Park resident Kaveri Temple and a truck roaring past in the background. Photo by Steve Grant

Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts says the noise wall is “expected to reduce the average traffic noise levels in Redlands Street by approximately two decibels”, compared to the baseline figures they took before works commenced.

“Noise measurements and assessments will be conducted six months after the completed NorthLink WA opens to traffic to determine the actual level of noise being experienced. If, for some reason, the noise limits are not being met, appropriate action will be undertaken.”

Mr Roberts added that temporary traffic management meant trucks were three metres closer to the noise wall than they would be when the new northbound carriageway is finished at the end of the year,.

Cr Cornish was fuming when the Voice told him that Main Roads had used the phrase, “perceived issues”.

“These residents have real issues!” he said.

“This just shows they have no appreciation for the problems they’ve hoisted upon the residents of the area. They’ve suffered for the last year or so and now Main Roads are saying they can suffer a bit longer, until they relook at the damage they’ve done.”

Ms McConnell is not reassured that the situation will be made good.

“I don’t have much confidence that they’re taking our needs as a community seriously … I don’t think this is going to be sorted out,” she says.

“I think they’re just palming us off. I think they’re hoping we just fizzle out and go away like good little citizens and stop annoying them.”

Even if the noise gets sorted, Ms McConnell has concerns about privacy given how measly the wall is.

“I can see, not just the tops of trucks, I can see into the carriage of some of them, and they can see back. Any trucker in a traffic jam can have a clear view through their windows. Our privacy’s shot to pieces,” she says.

Since the trucks have started rumbling past, she’s also seen cracks start developing in her ceiling. She’s hopeful that the survey carried out beforehand means she can be compensated for any damage.

Cr Sally Palmer says Ms Temple is subject to “deafening truck noise. Huge decibels all day and night…all the latest juggernauts, trucks, road trains, etc. galloping along the Northlink widened highway, just beyond her beautiful home.”

by DAVID BELL

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