I-471 work to begin in spring | News
NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) - A major overhaul of Interstate 471 is planned in Newport and residents are hoping the result will be less road noise.
The issue isn't engine noise, but the rumbling and the sounds caused by tires rolling over joints in the concrete pavement. The roadway currently has several patches of asphalt filling concrete seams and enough regularly spaced gaps that it creates a rapid-fire disco beat as cars drive over.
Complete replacement of the pavement in both directions of the Kentucky section of I-471 begins in the spring. District Transportation Cabinet Chief Engineer Rob Hans says whatever material is used will be quieter than the 1970s concrete that the highway is now paved with. Hans said state officials will consider several factors when awarding the project, which is estimated to cost $45-$50 million.
Those factors include bid prices, how long the new surface is expected to last and how long it will take to construct. He said the state is weighing not only noise issues, but the impact on motorists. Hans said the department is aware that the Newport City Commission recently approved a resolution asking that noise-reducing pavement be used for I-471.
"It's rough now because it's old concrete, deteriorated concrete," Hans said. The project will completely remove and replace the 12-13 inches of concrete there now, he said. The work is expected to last well into 2013.
The highway carries commuters across the Ohio River between northern Kentucky and the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati. The quieter the better, says Ian Budd, who lives several blocks from the highway, but still hears noise from traffic at times.
"If they can get a lower-noise surface on that road it's going to be incredibly beneficial, because a lot of the noises we have in that area coming from the expressway are tire noises, as opposed to engine noise," Budd said. "We've noticed that the surface is a pretty rough surface at the moment, and it's making exceptional levels of noise there."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)