Pasco homeowners want wall to block noise from I-75 - WRBL

Pasco homeowners want wall to block noise from I-75

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - The residents in the 1,500-home Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club desperately want a concrete noise wall to separate them from the noisy Interstate 75. But the state Department of Transportation insists they don't qualify for a wall. Even though it is plenty loud enough to justify one.

All day, every day, traffic whizzes by on interstate 75 behind Jack Hart's in this San Antonio neighborhood in Pasco County.

At our age, with a 55 and older community, we came here to be tranquil and have a nice quiet life. with the traffic out here, we do not have a quiet life," Hart said.

Residents knew the road was there when they purchased their homes. But Hart says a lot has changed since he moved in seven years ago.

"There might have been 7 or 8,000 cars a day 15 years ago. Today you've got 83,000," he said.

And the noise is getting worse. The state is widening I-75, adding more lanes for more 18-wheelers and cars. Some of the trees that shield a bit of the noise are coming down. Residents want a noise wall to go up. They've begged for years and turned to 8-on-your-side to find out why the state says: no way.

Kris Carson, with FDOT insists the book is closed on the $4.5 million dollar wall.

"Unfortunately, they don't qualify for noise walls."

It's loud, and if the state studied the noise now, they would likely approve a wall. But that doesn't matter. Carson said the state conducted its mandatory noise study in 2000 when it planned its expansion of I-75. At the time, there were only 7 houses in the neighborhood, so a noise wall was not recommended.

Hart and other residents think a new noise study is needed, but the DOT is not required to do one.

The state did agree to modify its plans to help the neighborhood. New lanes will be added near the median, and not closer to homes. And a continuous pine tree buffer will remain.

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