How noisy is the highway, East Vail?
VAIL ” In the 16 years Nino Licciardi has lived at Timber Falls in East Vail, the noise from the interstate has gotten twice as bad, he said.
“In the nighttime, you really notice it once in a while when a jake-brake truck is coming down here,” he said.
Licciardi was one of about 200 East Vail homeowners who signed a petition to push for noise barriers near the East Vail interchange.
“It’s something that should be taken care of,” he said, adding that the increase in noise is due to more traffic.
Homeowners hope that the barriers will be built if the Colorado Department of Transportation adds a lane to the west side of Vail Pass.
The department would look into noise reduction if the project ends up creating a lot more noise, said Peter Kozinski, engineer for the Department of Transportation.
“We want to make sure it gets done,” said Julie Hansen, another Timber Falls resident, who sent out and collected the petitions.
Kozinski said it’s too early to say if the project would include noise barriers. It’s even to early to say where lanes would be added, or even if there will be enough money for the project, he said.
“We just can’t predetermine outcomes,” he said.
But Kozinski said the new lanes wouldn’t be built to reduce congestion. They would be built so slow-moving and fast-moving cars and trucks could co-exist safely on the road, he said.
Retaining walls cost about $50 to $100 per square foot, though noise walls can be cheaper, Kozinski said.
Noise walls are too expensive for the town of Vail to build, said Greg Moffet, a Vail town councilman who has fought for reducing highway noise in Vail.
“We don’t have anywhere near enough money to do it,” Moffet said.
State Rep. Dan Gibbs, who represents Vail and was presented with the petitions from the East Vail residents, said he’ll try to work with the transportation department to explore ways to reduce noise.
“I personally don’t live in Vail, but clearly, if there are over 200 people in Vail that signed a petition, yes, that sends a very powerful statement,” he said. “I’m willing to work with everyone to explore what can be done.”
The homeowners want the walls built from the East Vail interchange to the Vail East Condos on the south and Timber Falls on the north. Pitkin Creek Park homeowners also signed the petitions.
The town should investigate using berms to alleviate noise, Hansen said.
Dirt that’s being trucked out of town from construction projects could be used for that project, she said.
Now, it’s hard to even fall asleep with windows open, Hansen said.
“It’s the biggest detraction in the town of Vail ” the interstate,” Hansen said.
Kozinski said there’s no timeline for construction to begin on he project.
He’s aware of the petitions. “At this stage of the game, no, it does not make a huge difference,” he said. “We would be looking at this even if we didn’t have petitions.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.