Highways England innovates to tackle road noise in Wakefield
An innovative noise barrier which will reduce the level of noise for residents living close to the M1 is being used in the UK for the first time.
The barrier will be installed by Highways England along a section of the M1 at Wakefield and not only reduces the level of noise for residents living nearby but will act as a safety barrier.
This pioneering barrier will be installed along the M1 northbound and southbound carriageways at Denby Dale (junction 39) and on the northbound exit and southbound entry slip roads.
Highways England project manager Sujad Hussain said: “This is the first system of its kind in the UK that will act as a noise and safety barrier. The barrier can withstand the impact of a 13 tonne bus travelling at 70km per hour and additionally shows a noise reduction of 37 decibels, a similar noise level to a refrigerator humming.
“The barrier was tested in Italy and by using this solution we reduce the amount of vegetation we need to remove and it allows us to create a continuous stretch of barrier over the bridge, which might have been difficult using other methods.
“This area of the M1 has been identified as a national hotspot by Defra in relation to noise and together with feedback from residents meant that it was one of the first areas we wanted to tackle thanks to money from a special environment fund.”
The barriers, 3 at 3 metres high and 1 at 1.85 metres, will be constructed off site meaning there will be less chance of weather having an impact on the work. It will also be safer as there will be fewer vehicles moving around the work site and cause less disruption for residents overnight.
During the work a 50mph speed restriction will be in place due to a temporary safety barrier being installed.
There will also be a lane closure on the slip roads during the day with full closures planned overnight. Clearly signed diversions will be in place.
On the main carriageway there will be some lane restrictions in place overnight and during off peak hours.
Work will start on the southbound entry slip road on Monday 5 November. The scheme is expected to be completed by the end of February.