ODOT Noise Wall project: I-71 from Pearl Road/W. 25th Street to Fulton Avenue.

Submitted by briancummins on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 16:55.

Dear residents and stakeholders, 

This message is intended to update and inform people regarding the status of the ODOT Noise Mitigation project: I-71 from Pearl Road/W. 25th Street to Fulton Avenue.
Summary timeline – ODOT concluded its noise analysis back in April of 2009 and at that time prepared various potential alternative designs for noise mitigation walls based on their noise analysis of the project area.
Project meetings were held by ODOT with the public through September – October of 2009 (north and south sections of the community) and public outreach on the streets immediately affected continued through November as well as in February/March of 2010.
We’ve recently learned that ODOT went to bid with project in March 2010 and Great Lakes Construction received the $2.5 million contract in April. Surveying began in June and as many of you are aware trees began to be marked for removal this past week.
We’ve learned that construction is anticipated to be from July through October 2010 with tree and drilling work first and then wall placement to follow.
In communications with ODOT over the past month my office sought clarification regarding the final plans for walls and requested to have input into those plans before they were implemented. We had a meeting scheduled with ODOT officials for Thursday of this week, but through our discussions ODOT agreed earlier this morning to meet in the field today. Johanna Hamm and I spent several hours in the field with ODOT officials this morning reviewing plans and discussing operations.
Plans for a Public Meeting -  We are coordinating with Applewood Centers to secure their auditorium/gym for a public meeting for either Wed/Thurs. June 30th/July 1st at 6:30 pm. We’ll send out an email as soon as we confirm this as well as work with local area CDCs to help flyer notices.
The Project – We are working with ODOT to ensure that noise barrier walls (concrete - red stamped - with absorptive material) will only be placed in areas between Pearl and Fulton along I-71 where the majority of homeowners expressed a strong interest in them. ODOT’s plans were to install walls the full length of the access road on the south side of the freeway and from the Jones Home (W. 25th St.) to W. 39th Street on the north side, leaving the portion that abuts Smith Avenue as is – with no wall installed.
In our discussions today ODOT is willing to considering changing their plans to eliminate the installation of a wall from W. 39th St. to Fulton on the southern side of the freeway. There are a majority of property owners that would rather not have a wall in this area and to maintain the lush tree growth instead. Other changes we hope to influence include backing the wall off of the eastern entrance and exit of the access ramps at Pearl Road/W. 25th Street to better protect the viewsheds of that corridor, and additional discussions are occurring with property owners in these areas to help delineate where the walls would begin. In addition, we walked the project area and reviewed the trees that are marked for removal and the contractor will be working to try to save as many trees as possible given the 10-foot width requirements for installation.
  • NOTE: See the enclosed reference map. The project area only consists of the areas labeled NSA3 and NSA4. NSA 1, 2 & 5 are not being considered for a wall. Also, the area to the north beginning at W. 39th and extending to Fulton Road will not see a wall installed and we’re working with ODOT to ensure a wall will not be installed on the south side of the project, also from W. 39th to Fulton.
In terms of a green-structure alternative to the cement walls, ODOT has stated that they will not be considering this as an option. They have responded that they need more research to ensure this type of wall would meet federal requirements (There is an example that has been given in Canada provided by resident Ken Wohlgemuth) for addressing noise conditions. And, that without that, this type of solution would not be available at this time.
My perspective on this issue is that it is a tough balancing act to 1) be responsive to the majority of residents that are most negatively impacted by the sound of the freeway - many of them have expressed their frustrations over the last 6-years that it has taken this long to get a project of this kind funded. And, 2) on the other, with all of the greening activities we’ve seen in the last 5-plus years with groups like Friends of Big Creek and the Brooklyn Centre Naturalist and recent Reimagining Cleveland Projects (BCCA & BCN) projects we’re aware of the desire by many to oppose such noise walls in our neighborhood and loss of any existing trees.
As a compromise we want to work with ODOT as described above in terms of limiting as much as possible the installation of the walls only where they will mitigate noise for a majority of residents who want them, and also see if we can either reallocate/apportion funding out of this project or seek out additional funding for more landscaping and buffering for the entire area covered by the project. We also want to work to see what can be done for better landscaping and improved fencing at the end points of the project (entrance and exit ramps) where on the western end Metroparks has been helpful in maintaining and improving the areas, and to work with and learn from the Tremont neighborhood’s implementation of a vegetative screening in lieu of noise walls in their neighborhood.
UPDATE 6/15/2010, related information --
  1. Guidelines for Selection and Approval of Noise Barrier Products; National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board, July 2008.
  2. Highway Traffic Noise in the United States Problem and Response; U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, April 2006
  3. Environmental Issues – Noise, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
  4. Other green barrier products -- For recent work done in Ohio in studying alternatives to traditional concrete noise walls see the "Ohio Turnpike Commission Noise Mitigation Study" issued 22/2008.  See the "RockDelta Green Noise Barrier"(Denmark) (page 24) for what appears to be a successful product/method utilized in Europe; and, the "Evaluation Study" (beginning on page 38).  And a related product - Green Barrier Products (UK).
If anyone has any questions please contact me and please feel free to post comments as well on the pages referenced below.
Councilman, Ward 14
Cleveland City Council
City Hall, Room 220
601 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
216-664-4238 office
216-664-3837 fax


ODOT_map_Centre_71_sound_wall.pdf961.42 KB
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ODOT's Dirty tricks

Update 6/17/2010

Yesterday, a neighbor from Riverside informed me that ODOT is already clearing trees and fences from Riverside Ave. in preparation for the WALLS.  With no forewarning--residents with children and animals have their yards exposed to the freeway and only orange tape fencing to protect them.  Dirty dealing in NEO.



Previous comment 6/15/2010:

Thank you for this long overdue update.  I don't like any of the news, but since we are at the mercy of ODOT and the obvious slush fund of tax dollars used to install walls all over the state, whether residents want them or not--I do appreciate that you are trying to do what ever you can to impede that bulldozer.

What about the Neigborhood Development Allocations?  Please account to residents on how all of these funds are being distributed, especially to Stockyards, Detroit Shoreway and Tremont West Development Corporations.  I am especially disturbed to hear from a third party that negotiations are underway to merge Art House, SPACES and the Cleveland Artists Foundation in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.  Please tell me that this is a rumor with NO validity.

so, Mr. Cummins, as you yelled at people

that this meeting was YOUR meeting and YOU would run it the way you wanted to, did it ever cross your mind that you were in a public meeting with neighborhood residents to talk about a publicly funded project?

 Six months into this job,  you are not impressing many, if any, constituents. You seem to have washed you hands of the Clark-Fulton area, and are absent when the block club make up is poor and minority based. You seem to be present to help selected people get into positions of certain block clubs, and no where to be found other times.

You are pissing off so many people in so many ways, across the board. Don't forget that ward 14 is a different animal than what you are used to.. In ward 14 previous, there was a recall campaign and election around the stupidity of Joe Santiago. I am hearing rumblings of this as a possibility for you.

I honestly hope that you get your act together, and do the job that you said that you would do. As a matter of fact, I am going to go through those promises and post them here. Try to get a few good things done, would you? And listen when people talk. The people who live in ward 14 may be smarter, and more creative than you will ever be, and you could learn from them.

I pray that you are not so arrogant to believe that YOU know best for people, rather than forming relationships and engaging with residents.


thank you. 

While I'm not completely

While I'm not completely sure of the ODOT plans, I do know that Sokolosky's nor the Greek church on West 14th and Fairfield will not be effected.  If I'm not mistaken the animal clinic will stay where it is -- also the new bridge will be constructed on the opposite side of existing bridge.  I'll check with Marc Carpenter and see if he'll send a map or even post it on NEO. 


A conversation with Mark Carpenter a few minutes ago - he relayed that - no one's yards will be effected - there will be work done to Abby from West 20th to West 11th Street but the pavement width will remain the same.  A bike land will be added to the Abby bridge.  there will be parking added under the bridge but more around West 14th closer to the Greek Church which also will not be effected.

He will be forwarding me a map that I can post on NEO.  As soon as i receive it, I will share it.   Hope this information helps.


The owner of the animal clinic told me two months ago that he does have to move to accomodate the new ODOT plans. I also read recently that Sokolosky's will lose part of their parking lot.

abbey yes

 also was told by clinic that they will be forced to move

All I can avow to is the

All I can avow to is the information provided me by ODOT Rep. Mark Carpenter.  He did further state that he saw no necessity to acquire any additional property at this time.  That the work proposed for Abbey would not hinder anyone's yards and the pavement width would remain the same.  As soon as he sends me the map, I will post it.

The biggest concern with the freeway should be pollution

As science has identified freeways as major sources of pollution harming area residents, I wonder if policy experts at ODOT and NOACA have provided any analyses of the environmental impact of the future construction and operation of the freeway - there are design issues related to pollution - I wonder if they even think or care about such things... I'd like to see proof they do.

What are the current emissions in Oldrosers yard from ODOT point source pollution, what has been done to study and mitigate that today, what is the anticipated change in pollution after the freeway and bridge updates are completed, and what barrier strategies may reduce the environmental harm to Oldroser.

I want proof our leaders have bothered to understand that issue - if not, fire their asses.

Brian - you are safe... we know you are concerned about these issues and you show it more each day.

The biggest concern with the freeway should be pollution

Disrupt IT