Sound barrier walls need to be replaced, are they worth the cost - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Sound barrier walls need to be replaced, are they worth the cost?

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) -

Rusted steel, chipping and cracking concrete.  Miles and miles of sound barriers around Cleveland that don't need to be broken, they're falling apart on their own.

"Obviously, there's disappointment.  Many of these walls were expected to last 20 years.  We got close to 15 years," Jackie Shafer with ODOT said.

You might call them the Ohio Department of Transportation's million dollar walls.  The sound barriers were built in the 90s, mandated by politicians in Columbus in a rush to build $10 million worth of sound barriers in a year.

ODOT said they may not have chosen the best materials.  Intense Cleveland winters and the salt that comes with them erodes the concrete, so fiberglass is now being used.

Over 10 miles of sound barriers are slated to be replaced over the next 2 years.  Every mile costs close to a million dollars to build.

But the question may be, is it all just a waste of money?  Do the sounds barriers really work? 

Roberto Barto lives just feet away from one of the barriers in Garfield Heights, he says no, "Especially in the summer time. If it's not that hot, you can still hear the motorcycles, woop, woop, woop!!! Nobody wants to do anything about it."

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