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Mitigation of Highway Traffic-Induced Vibration


Occasionally, transportation agencies receive complaints from residents living near roads about annoying or even structurally-damaging traffic-induced vibration. The resolution of these complaints can be very challenging because many transportation agencies do not have guidelines for the assessment of the potential impact of traffic-induced vibration. Many agencies may also lack experience with dealing with vibration complaints, and with measures to mitigate the impact of traffic-induced vibration. The paper describes sources of traffic-induced vibration, identifies possible causes that may result in vibration concerns, and outlines procedures for estimating vibration levels caused by highway traffic. In addition, the paper provides guidelines and recommended criteria for the assessment of vibration impacts on residential areas, and provides recommendations for the mitigation of traffic-induced vibration. Both types of traffic induced vibration – ground-borne vibration and air-borne vibration – are addressed. The assessment of the impact of vibration can be accomplished by estimating the site-specific vibration levels and comparing them with assessment criteria and guidelines. The site specific factors influencing vibration levels include the characteristics of the highway traffic flow, unevenness of pavement surface, transmission path between the source and the receiver, and building parameters. In extreme circumstances, traffic-induced ground-borne vibration may be perceptible to residents living near roads. However, it is very unlikely to result in damage to residential buildings. Air-borne vibration may increase sound levels inside residences due to the resonance of light building components. The vibration of these components can also contribute to the feeling of vibration inside a room. The first consideration for removing the potential for ground-borne vibration is the maintenance of smooth pavement surfaces. The considerations for reducing the potential for air-borne vibration include improving windows, making the interior of the rooms more sound absorbing, and eliminating room components that can be induced to resonate by low-frequency noise emitted by trucks and buses.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Hajek, J.J
Blaney C.T
Hein, D.K
Construction, Maintenance and operations