Ripple strips get the flick
RESIDENTS of Ocean Shores have had a victory in their long-standing battle with the RTA over noise concerns on the Pacific Highway.
On Friday the RTA announced that audible lines, or ripple strips, would be removed from the highway between Brunswick Heads and Yelgun.
“We're half way there, but it's the biggest half,” said Ocean Shores resident Jim Mangleson.
“We're still the only area in Australia where a highway upgrade has been done in an urban area and there are no sound walls.”
Mr Mangleson and his wife, Byron Shire councillor Jan Mangleson, live about one kilometre from the highway at Ocean Shores.
The RTA carried out a noise study between October and December last year and found noise levels were two to four decibels above the EPA standard when averaged out over a 24-hour period.
“It's not the average that wakes you up, it's the heavy vehicles on the ripple strips or compression braking,” Mrs Mangleson said.
A spokesperson for the RTA said the study had found noise treatment measures 'all complied with the noise goal of the project'.
“Despite this, the RTA has taken community concerns on board and will remove the audible profile line marking within the next two months and replace it with normal line marking,” the spokesperson said.
In a recent meeting with NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal, Mrs Mangleson requested the RTA hold a public meeting to explain the results of the noise study to the residents of Ocean Shores. Mr Roozendaal endorsed a public meeting.
“Under the conditions of consent, the Minister for Roads and the Minister for Planning have signed off that mitigation works would be required if sound levels are above the EPA standards,” Mrs Mangleson said.
The couple said they would continue to push for sound walls to be constructed.
“They spent three-and-a-half million on a truck stop that isn't used (at Yelgun). That could have been better spent on sound walls,” Mr Mangleson said.
He said residents would be happy for the ripple strips to be replaced with cat's eyes or another system that could be felt by drivers when they drove on to them, but didn't make the same level of noise.
According to Mrs Mangleson, the RTA's project manager for the Pacific Highway upgrade, Bob Higgins, told a public meeting at Ewingsdale that the type of ripple strips used for the Brunswick Heads to Yelgun upgrade would never be used in an urban area again.