PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The South Mountain Freeway, the new stretch of Loop 202, is a double-edged sword. It has saved countless people driving time and eased congestion on I-10. But it’s not all rosy for some people in Ahwatukee, where a lot of neighbors say they need a longer sound barrier to keep noise out.
“If it’s dead quiet and you just wake up in the morning just drinking your coffee, you can hear the morning rush hour traffic,” homeowner Todd Shoemaker said.
Despite huge walls that act as sound barriers in some places, there are gaps along other stretches. The Promontory neighborhood, near the spot where westbound traffic hooks north, is talking about it.
“Almost anytime you see someone, that’s the conversation,” homeowner Dave Meirick said.
“I’ve had a lot of angry emails and phone calls about the level of noise and how it’s impacting their sleeping and with their kids and their family,” said State Senator Sean Bowie ((D)-District 18).
He’s been taking those complaints straight to ADOT, and the department says they want to address the concerns quickly. On Thursday and Friday, they’ll be out in the area measuring the noise levels to see if the traffic is louder than they anticipated it would be. Of the 22 miles on the new extension, there are 11 miles with a noise barrier.
“When there’s trucks coming down that gap, and they get behind the wall, it certainly dampens the sound,” Meirick said. “So I think if it were extended up through that valley and that gap, it would be helpful.”
“Why not just extend the wall?” Shoemaker said. “Because I’m sure at some point there’s gonna be a development between us and that other neighborhood.”