Operational noise

When the Pacific Highway is upgraded between Woolgoolga and Ballina there will be traffic noise coming from the vehicles using it. This is what we call operational noise.

Roads and Maritime Services uses the same methodology and guidelines for management and mitigation of operational noise in accordance with NSW Environment Protection Authority guidelines.

When developing and delivering major road upgrades, project teams take a number of steps throughout the project to understand predicted operational noise levels and then the actual noise level.

Noise modelling was carried out for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 2012. Further modelling was carried out at detailed design which allowed the project team to refine the data based on the final design and location of the new road.

Operational Noise Review

We have prepared an Operational Noise Review which outlines the expected changes in road traffic noise as a result of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade. The report includes the sections of the upgrade between Glenugie and Pimlico.

The Operational Noise Review was approved by the Department of Planning and Environment in June 2018. It outlines a range of measures to help minimise the impacts of operational noise before the upgrade is open to traffic.

The noise mitigation measures for the upgrade have been identified in line with Roads and Maritime’s Noise Mitigation Guideline. These include:

  • Building a noise wall at Tyndale
  • Installing low noise pavement at Gulmarrad and Broadwater (in addition to the areas identified for low noise pavement in the EIS)
  • Considering at-house noise treatment for more than 300 properties within 600 metres of the new road
  • Considering at-house noise treatment for 47 properties within 601-900 metres at the operational compliance stage of the project.

The Operational Noise Review is available to view and download using the link in the project documents section below.

Next steps

At-house noise treatment is being delivered to help reduce impacts from operational noise after the project is completed and open to traffic in 2020.

Due to the large number of properties eligible for at-house noise treatment, the program is being delivered in stages. The project team will contact eligible property owners to confirm next steps.

Within one year of the upgrade opening and traffic travelling at full speed, the project team will carry out an assessment to compare actual noise levels with the predicted noise levels.

The project team will carry out noise monitoring along the corridor to measure the actual noise levels. Measurements do not need to be carried out at every property to confirm the information is correct.

If noise levels are found to be greater than expected, consultation would be carried out with affected receivers and additional reasonable and feasible mitigation measures may be applied.  This work will be made available to the public in an Operational Noise Compliance Review.

The Review will be reviewed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority and Department of Planning and Environment to ensure regulatory requirements have been met.

Documents

Operational Noise Review

April 2018

Main report

- Appendix A

April 2018

- Appendix B

April 2018

- Appendix C

April 2018

- Appendix D

April 2018

- Appendix E1

April 2018

- Appendix E2

April 2018

- Appendix E3

April 2018

- Appendix E4

April 2018

Operational noise fact sheet

July 2018

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