Before Bexley moves forward with submitting a petition to the Ohio Department of Transportation to install sound barriers to block noise from Interstate 70, the city has requested ODOT conduct a preliminary study to assess the feasibility of the project.

Bexley City Council is considering Resolution 19-18, which requests that ODOT install the sound barriers around Bexley and the surrounding vicinity. At council's Dec. 4 meeting, Noel Alcala, a noise and air-quality coordinator for ODOT, suggested the preliminary study.

"If we do move forward with an analysis for the area, I don't know that it's going to show that it meets our criteria, but we could go through the process," Alcala said. "We'd be happy to review the application petition and go through the process and see if something can be done."

Several factors will determine whether or not Bexley and surrounding communities are eligible for ODOT to both install sound barriers along I-70 and cover the costs of the installation, Alcala said.

"Typically, noise walls are built for communities that are close to the freeway, right up against the freeway," he said. In Bexley and the immediate vicinity, "homes are further away."

The altitude of I-70, rather than its proximity to neighborhoods, is what generates noise, said councilman Troy Markham, chairman of the service and environmental committee and the one who introduced Resolution 19-18.

"I think the feature that causes us trouble is, it's elevated," Markham said.

When ODOT conducts the preliminary study, the agency will monitor when freeway noise is the loudest, Alcala said.

"For the monitoring, we will use the peak-hour traffic, the worst-case traffic during the day," he said.

Bexley service director Bill Dorman said the city has submitted a formal request for ODOT to conduct the preliminary study. Alcala said ODOT has not determined a date for when the preliminary study will be completed.

For more information about the sound barriers petition, visit www.bexley.org.

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