29/250 Bypass Charlottesville

Absorptive Sound Wall

Project Details

Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Department of Transportation
Civil Wall Solutions
47,751 sq. ft. of absorptive noise wall panels and 104 precast columns
"We're going to go outside and enjoy BBQs and not have trucks with their Jake brakes. Kids will be able to hang out in the yard without all that extra noise.” Tate McCracken, Charlottesville resident
Charlottesville SoftSound 250 Bypass

The Neighbors are Happy

People driving through the Route 29/250 Bypass in Charlottesville probably don’t even notice it, but for people living on the other side of it, it’s a big deal.

Prior to construction, there was a natural barrier, made of trees, that had to be removed.

The sound barrier is not just a wall.

“It would be a balance between a quality of life issue and also holding on to our property values,” said Tate McCracken, a supporter of the sound barrier. It’s something to help quiet down all that traffic noise, an effort by McCracken and several people in this neighborhood off of Angus Road. So they posed a question to project managers: “With this increased traffic flow, there’ll be increased traffic noise, and is there a sound barrier in the project?”

The Virginia Department of Transportation was open to the idea.

“In this case, we did that community outreach,” said Lou Hatter with VDOT. “We talked to the community and they indicated that they were in favor of having the sound walls installed as part of this project.”

The $3.5 million walls will stand about 16 to 19 feet high on both the northbound and southbound sides of Route 29, with a combined length of more than 2,000 feet of a porous material, putting the quiet back into the neighborhood.

Smith-Midland supplied 47,751 square feet (379 panels) of precast sound wall and retaining wall for the Route 29-Route 250 Interchange improvement project in Charlottesville, Va. The company’s sound wall combines the unmatched strength and durability of precast concrete with finishes designed to match the surrounding environment. Smith-Midland provided 3,716 linear feet (104 total) of pre-stressed columns for the project.

The project featured SoftSound™ sound absorptive concrete with a dry stack stone form liner finish on the highway side, and a stamped dry stack stone finish on the residential side to meet historic Charlottesville’s aesthetic requirements. The project will facilitate traffic flow without disrupting nearby historic and residential areas.