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Richmonders confront VDOT about noisy neighborhood

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – As summer sweeps in to the Rosedale community in North Richmond, the streets tucked inside hear the sounds of the season. But lurking on the edge of the community, is a sound that comes with every month of the year for the neighborhood.

“I mean you can hear the traffic now, I mean I’m yelling to you it’s ridiculous,” said neighbor Robin Claibourne.

For years neighbors said they’ve waited for a long promised sound barrier to be put up between their homes and 195. Instead what they have is a broken down wood fence that even VDOT admits needs replacing. VDOT met with frustrated neighbors Tuesday night.

“I’m here to answer questions and make sure we get a resolution to this as best we can,” said VDOT representative Steve Neeley.

The department is willing to replace the fence with a vinyl wall, but said putting up a sound barrier in the community is not possible.
According to VDOT policy, retrofit highways with sound barriers can only happen when they expand or change the height of the roadway.

“I understand policy however there is a certain moral obligation,” said neighbor Liz Turner.

Many neighbors weren’t impressed with the solution and questioned a wall only 2-inches thick.

“There have to be other scenarios that you all haven’t even investigated, obviously you haven’t,” said Sharlene Lippy.

McNeeley reiterated several times that they can fix the fence line but it can’t fix the noise…not completely.

“I am limited by what i can do because of policy,” he said.

That policy doesn’t make sense for neighbors who said their quality of life is interrupted daily by noisy interstate.

“You want to sit on your front porch and it’s really hard because you can’t have a normal conversation,” said Claibourne.

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