Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

March 21, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT creates Greater Minnesota noise barrier program

Cities, townships can apply for funding through May 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Cities and townships are eligible to apply for funding under the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s newly created Greater Minnesota Stand-Alone Noise Barrier program. The agency has approximately $700,000 to award to 172 eligible cities for building noise barrier projects.

“Currently, most of the noise barriers are in the Twin Cities area, where higher traffic counts can create noise levels that exceed state standards,” said Peter Wasko, program administrator. “There are many cities in Greater Minnesota impacted by traffic noise and this funding will help address that.”

Cities can apply for the first round of funding before May 9. MnDOT will select projects in June with plans to begin construction in July 2017. Wasko said future applications will be accepted annually from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, although future funding amounts have not been determined.

To qualify, cities must be adjacent to a limited access freeway, expressway or interstate where noise limits exceed the state daytime noise standard set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Cities are required to pay 10 percent of the project cost.

Wasko said MnDOT has constructed noise walls and barriers during roadway construction projects since the 1970s, when the Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to adopt state noise standards. State and federal standards are used to determine noise impacts and mitigation in Minnesota.

In 1995, MnDOT developed a priority list to direct state resources to mitigate traffic noise in locations not adjacent to new roadway construction. Most of these locations were in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

In 2013, the Office of the Legislative Auditor recommended that MnDOT offer funding to communities outside the Twin Cities to build noise barriers. The new program is in response to that recommendation.

For more information, including a list of eligible cities, a complete list of application requirements and the application, go to www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/noise/greater-mn-program.html.

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To learn more about funding Minnesota’s transportation system, visit Get Connected at www.dot.state.mn.us/getconnected