OXFORD – An acoustics consultant’s report termed noise expected along a proposed road to Oxford’s new hospital “unacceptable,” saying that traffic sounds at the existing homes would exceed federal limits.
Belk Boulevard is proposed to be extended from South Lamar, by the existing Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, across the site of its soon-to-be-built replacement and connecting at its west end to Old Taylor Road. As planned, it would pass just south of nine existing condominiums off Frontage Road.
Dave Woolworth, principal of Oxford Acoustics Inc., wrote that, “The current expected sound levels after completion of the project exceed the threshold of unacceptable and requiring special approval as per (U.S. Department of) Housing and Urban Development regulations.”
Woolworth added that HUD’s requirement would be to provide five decibels of soundproofing to the structures adjacent to the road.
“Treatment of bedroom windows and a partial height barrier (9 feet) can reduce sound exposure from automobile traffic to acceptable sound levels, and all truck traffic should be routed to come and go on Lamar,” Woolworth wrote. “This treatment will provide for a reasonable quality of life for the residents; an up to 3dB increase in peak sound level will be expected over the next 10-20 years due to the increase in number of vehicles attributed to development of the medical support facilities.
“Under no circumstances should heavy trucks travel Belk Boulevard between the hospital and Old Taylor Road at any time,” he added.
City Engineer Bart Robinson explained to the mayor and aldermen Tuesday that the hospital would be responsible for the sound abatement costs.
“Dave’s numbers are somewhere between $140,000 and $200,000, depending on the type of materials,” Robinson said, noting he has forwarded the study to the hospital’s engineering firm. “I’m sure they will have to come back (with such a proposal) as part of their petition to the Planning Commission.”