Are the 2000+ noise complaints over the 12km Sydney light rail?
The severe noise and vibration impact on residents and retail owners would assuredly have been anticipated by the developers.
Media attention has focused on the disruptions, bringing into question the actions taken to minimise construction noise and vibration.
Over‐excessive noise accounted for 1,549 complaints. Some suburbs have experienced virtually non‐ stop noise disturbance for weeks at a time.
According to a Channel 7 news report aired on July 18 2018, residents were “soundproofing their own homes” in a bid to sleep at night.
112 complaints were in regards to excessive vibration from machinery.
With a long history of partnerships with project managers and specifiers, Pyrotek is highly experienced in situations where infrastructure upgrades create disturbance. During construction, there are many solutions available, including flexible mass‐loaded barrier curtains such as Wavebar NC, and temporary acoustic walls and barriers.
Given the available information, it would seem that due care processes were in place in this very challenging inner‐city project.
For example, the state government used noise enclosure curtains onsite, and assessed over 2,000 homes for noise and vibration treatment. It’s likely the assessment showed that offering relocation at $200 per day was a cheaper alternative to acoustically treating each individual home.
There are some instances where double‐glazing windows and treating homes on an individual basis is successful, as is the case with the Noise Abatement Program. Implemented by Roads and Maritime Services, the program installs noise barriers, noise mounds and architectural acoustic treatments to mitigate excessive noise from new roads, as well as offering individual housing treatments.
Ultimately, very little could have been done to mitigate vibration on the light rail project, as there was no way to create an in‐ground vibration damping barrier between the site and the land the homes are built on.
The 4‐year underground Western Harbour Tunnel project, which is expected to begin in late 2018, is facing the same challenges from machinery and heavy vehicle disturbance on the local community.
While infrastructure projects can present tremendous challenges, there are many custom solutions that can be explored by acoustic consultants in conjunction with a specialist soundproofing company such as Pyrotek.