At the Washington City Council’s request, the park board looked into the cost associated with creating a sight and sound barrier on the south end of the Quail Run Subdivision along the expansion of Highway 100.
The council is looking into the project after several complaints from residents in the subdivision, who said the already loud highway is only getting more troublesome.
One resident who attended the meeting, Diane Whitacre, said she couldn’t even leave her back door open without the noise being too bothersome.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will put up a fence for safety reasons, but after sound testing, determined that they would not do anything else to quell the sound.
Silvio Viola, another Quail Run resident, asked if MoDOT could retest the sound.
“It’s only getting louder,” he told the council.
Steve Sullentrup, city council member, said he would ask Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer, if MoDOT would consider retesting in the future.
A letter from Darren Dunkle, parks director, and Josh Wargo, parks horticulturalist/arborist, said that using ivy as a sound barrier “would not provide much in the way as a sound barrier, and would go dormant in the winter.”
Planting ivy would cost up to $4,200 for plant material and installation.
The parks department also looked into the use of evergreens to help with both sight and sound issues.
Dunkle suggested a Green Perfecta Juniper, because the tree grows more vertically than horizontally and would fit in the limited space available.
According to the letter, if the city were to plant trees every 10 feet, it would need approximately 55 trees at a cost of $4,125, plus $1,375 for installation.
If the city was to plant trees every 20 feet, it would need to purchase approximately 28 trees at a cost of $2,100 and an additional $700 for planting.
A third option would be to place slats into the fencing to create the sound and visual barrier.
MoDOT is currently paying to place the fence and Dunkle estimated the slats would cost an additional $5 per foot, or $4,250.
Mayor Sandy Lucy said the discussion would be ongoing.