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Hush hush job to cure noisy road

REMEDIAL WORKS costing up to £400,000 are being planned for the M1/A1 link road just three months after it opened.

DBFO concessionaire Yorkshire Link is being forced to overlay a 2.5km section of the £200M road east of Leeds with a flexible surface after continued complaints from residents that the existing concrete surface was too noisy.

Pressure from local MP Colin Burgon prompted Yorkshire Link to conduct noise surveys in March (NCE 18 March). These showed levels near the road were on average three decibels higher than those predicted at the public inquiry in 1993.

Yorkshire Link has now formed a working group with the Highways Agency to try to resolve the problem. Sound barriers are not thought to be viable so the group is considering overlaying the road with an ultra-thin layer of proprietary low-noise bitumastic surfacing.

Agency project manager Alec Briggs said he was 'still in discussion' with Yorkshire Link over who would foot the bill for the work. Surfacing is likely to be carried out at night later this summer to minimise disruption. Yorkshire Link project manager Tony Ball said the company originally opted for a concrete surface in the area instead of the 40mm thick stone mastic asphalt wearing course used on two thirds of the route because homes were considered far enough away.

'Normally 300m is the limit you have to take noise measurements on,' he said. 'The properties are 300m-500m away from the road but the noise limit has been exceeded and that is possibly due to the local topography.'

Ball added: 'We are hoping to keep the thickness of the overlay down to 15mm-20mm. There are a number of materials available and we are liaising with Highways Agency experts over which ones are best.'

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