Asphalt Rubber Technology Information Center
Environmental Noise Analysis - Alta Arden Expressway Resurfacing Project

December, 1993
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The acoustical consulting firm of Brown-Buntin Associates, Inc. (BBA) was retained by the Sacramento County
Department of Public Works to study Alta Arden Expressway traffic noise levels before and after paving with rubberized
asphalt.  The purpose of this study was to describe the reduction in Alta Arden Expressway traffic noise levels which
resulted from the use of rubberized asphalt concrete.  The project study corridor extended from Howe Avenue to Watt
Avenue, as shown by Figure 1.
Several similar studies, conducted in France, West Germany, Belgium, Austria and the U.S. (Arizona), have reported
traffic noise level reductions ranging from 3 dB to 10 dB following repaving with rubberized asphalt.  The wide range of
reported noise level reductions is probably due in part to varying levels or roadway degradation prior to resurfacing,
differences in heavy truck usage, and varying composition of the rubberized asphalt.  Regardless, a noise reduction of at
least 3 dB was reported for each study.  A 3 dB decrease in traffic noise levels is comparable to the effects of a 50%
reduction (or halving) in traffic volume, and is considered to be a perceptible decrease in noise levels.
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