Residents make a sound over noise report
A LONG-awaited report into highway noise from the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade has finally been released.
Traffic noise from the 25km upgrade has been an ongoing concern for Northern Beaches residents since the upgrade was completed in July last year.
Now, Roads and Maritime Services has released its post-operational report - resulting in a mixed response from local residents.
The report used noise monitoring carried out at 39 locations in November to inform RMS if further noise mitigation work was required.
The report measured the readings against noise guidelines outlined by the Environment Protection Authority which states "acceptable levels" of traffic noise should not exceed 55-60 decibels during daytime hours and 50-55 dB(A) at night.
The report shows the majority of Northern Beaches properties were experiencing average noise levels more than 50db(A) including 103 properties averaging more than 55 db(A).
A further 27 homes were averaging in excess of 60 db(A).
The report however found just two properties are affected by "acute noise" and therefore eligible to receive further mitigation works.
Woolgoolga resident Steve Moody, who lives within 500 metres of the upgrade, said the report failed to address the concerns of the wider community.
"RMS is taking a virtual do nothing approach to reduce the suffering of the thousand or so households adversely affected by heavy vehicle road noise," Steve said.
"There are numerous flaws in the report that stems from flaws in the test protocol that itself is designed to have a broad acceptance of the status quo."
A study of engine brake noise at four locations also showed less than one per cent of heavy vehicles exceeded the recommendations by the National Transport Commission.
An RMS spokeswoman said a range of noise mitigation work had been conducted prior to the upgrade's completion including low noise generating concrete paving, noise barriers and modifications.
She encouraged residents to learn more about the report by attending community information sessions next week in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga and Sandy Beach.
For details visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au.