Austin residents want noise wall on Interstate 90

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(ABC 6 News) – Most noise complaints might be that your neighbor is playing their music too loud or construction is too loud.

Well in Austin, some homeowners are complaining about the noise coming from cars on Interstate 90.

The noise coming from the interstate is the reason Nancy is pushing to get a noise barrier built to make her backyard a little more enjoyable.

Nancy and her husband have been living at their house since 1996 and they say the noise has only gotten worse.

They decided to invite city officials out to show them the issue.

“At first they thought, oh they can’t have a picnic in their backyard because it’s too noisy, but really when can’t even stand at our kitchen sink or sit at our dining room table and have a conversation with the traffic,” said Nancy.

Some of her neighbors have raised concerns too.

It’s estimated a noise barrier will cost about 900 thousand dollars

“900 thousand dollars to just benefit 11 properties that don’t really benefit the overall public, is a tough pill to swallow for taxpayers,” Baskin said.

But the city received a grant through MnDOT to cover 90% of the cost and the city says it will pay 5 percent and the homeowners will have to pay the other 5 percent.

“The cost should be factored in based on how much benefit you are getting. So, if you’re a block and a half away and you’re seeing a 4-decibel reduction you should be assessed less for a noise wall than the Quednow’s who are right next to the highway,” explained Baskin.

Nancy says they might have to pay as much as 20 thousand dollars for the wall, but she says it will be worth it and is encouraging her neighbors to get on board as well.

“Just look at the quality of life and look at the years to come. I mean a barrier is going to be up for 80 years. It’s not just us in the next few years benefiting. It’s the community of Austin,” said Nancy.

Councilman Baskin tells me the city wants to get 7 of the 11 houses the noise barrier will most benefit on board because it’s going to require these homeowners to open up their wallets if they want this barrier built.

I didn’t talk to all 11 homeowners Tuesday. But the ones I did speak with, like Nancy, say they are all for it, even if it’s going to cost them some money.

Based on the math that would mean the city of Austin would have to 45 thousand dollars towards that project… Realistically how big of a burden is that for the city?

Councilman Baskin said 45 thousand dollars is about half of a police officer’s earnings per year in the city so to the city the size of Austin it’s a decent amount of money but a lot better than having to pay 900 thousand.