Highway noise nightmare
By RACHEL AFFLICK firstname.lastname@example.org OCEAN SHORES resident Jim Mangleson says his own tests have confirmed that highway noise on the newly-opened Brunswick Heads to Yelgun upgrade is in breach of State Government guidelines.
And, he claims, it opens the way for thousands of North Byron Shire residents affected by the noise to potentially pursue class legal action against the RTA.
Residents say ripple strips on the new stretch of highway are producing so much noise it is impacting on their sleep, health and wallets.
According to the State Government's Environmental Criteria for Road Traffic Noise, traffic noise on most of the new highway should not exceed 55 decibels at night.
Mr Mangleson said that last Tuesday night he tested a flat section of the highway at Billinudgel using a noise monitoring instrument.
He said a car not hitting the ripple strips was recorded at a noise level of 70 decibels.
The same car hitting the strips measured 88 decibels the road noise equivalent of semi-trailers.
"It's clearly exceeding the design criteria," Mr Mangleson said.
Two hundred local residents met at the Ocean Shores Country Club last month to voice their concerns to RTA representatives.
Mr Mangleson said many of those residents had since resolved to perform their own noise tests on the ripples and potentially take the matter to court.
They want a noise wall installed and the ripples removed.
They also will be considering whether or not to seek financial compensation.
Mr Mangleson said the noise levels at his home was 'frightening', and he lived a kilometre from the highway.
"It sounds like an ocean liner's fog horn," he said. Ocean Shores resident Catherine Trudgeon said she hadn't managed a decent night's sleep since the new section of highway was opened in July.
"The noise wakes me up every night. It's a nightmare it's an awake nightmare," she said.
"I'm so tired I can't concentrate properly at work.
"Where I live now in Ocean Shores in much noisier than any city I've lived in."
Local politicians have stepped in to support the residents' quest for quiet.