Residents Worry About Noise From I-20 Expansion - DatelineCarolina

Residents Worry About Noise From I-20 Expansion

Wildewood residents want a sound barrier in their backyard. Wildewood residents want a sound barrier in their backyard.

By: Kelsie Weekes

Posted: September 27, 2010 10:00 am

Some people who live in northeastern Richland County are angry that there will be nothing separating their houses from an expanded Interstate 20. They say there will be more traffic, and more noise from the wider highway, and they want the state to build noise barriers to keep that noise down. 

The road-widening project, which is set to begin this fall, will relieve congestion between I-77 and Spears Creek Church Road. Sound barriers are planned along five sections of the Interstate that will soon be widened to six lanes, but they stop short of the Wildewood, Belleclave, Enclave and other neighborhoods that border the road.  

"For me it's about quality of life," said Tora Miller, a Wildewood resident, "I want to be able to enjoy my backyard."

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is in charge of the project. It has already received many complaints about the expansion.

"We did receive numerous comments during a recent public hearing requesting additional walls along the project corridor," SCDOT said in a statement. "SCDOT is reviewing all the public comments received at that hearing, and a final decision on whether additional walls are reasonable and justified is still being evaluated."

Miller says a noise study was recently done along the highway, and only areas where the greatest number of people live will receive protection from the noise.

"We are being discriminated against because our homes aren't more densely arranged," said Miller.

Wildewood residents say they are thinking about paying for their own sound barrier along I-20.

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