Residents petition for sound wall ahead of I-29 expansion

(WOWT)
Published: Aug. 17, 2017 at 9:29 PM CDT
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Dozens of petitioners in Council Bluffs are calling for a sound wall near I-29. The Iowa Department of Transportation is planning major improvements to the interstate. Officials say a study has already shown there's no need for a wall. The people who live nearby don't agree.

Bluffs Acres is a community of 1,200 residents who live right along the interstate.

"For years we knew they were going to have interstate construction. They were going to expand the interstate. We were of the understanding that we were going to have a sound wall,” said Don Hansen, owner of Bluffs Acres.

The way things are now, you can already hear the steady whiz of traffic going by and neighbors think the only solution is to build a sound blocking wall.

"There's an entrance ramp right by us so when they're accelerating we have all of that noise," Hansen said.

Lenny Scaletts has gotten creative over the years trying to block out the noise that he fears will only get louder with more interstate lanes.

"I have to sleep with a fan on every night,” said Scaletts.

He says neighbors that abut the interstate can hardly hear each other.

"They have to actually talk louder, not scream but talk a lot louder for their neighbors to understand them when they're standing right next to them like I'm standing right next to you,” Scaletts said.

Some units are still being built and put up for sale right next to the interstate. Neighbors fear the noise drives down the value of their homes.

"If we were a conventional neighborhood, we would have had a wall," said Hansen.

So at a meeting this week the residents presented a petition with over 100 signatures. Scaletts told WOWT 6 News if things don’t change he'd consider moving.

The Department of Transportation says they have multiple factors they consider before building a wall including the cost to taxpayers, whether the people nearby want it and whether the homes or businesses were already here before the project.

The Department of Transportation is still accepting comments until September 14. To learn how you can submit your support or concerns,