Letter to Representative Martin Meehan concerning the Massachusetts Highway Department’s denial of sound barriers for households in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
We issued a letter to Representative Meehan responding to allegations raised about the denial of sound barriers by the Massachusetts Highway Department for selected households affected by the Route 3 North Expansion Project in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. We reported that the denial of sound barriers was based on a cost-effectiveness determination that was made within the "letter and spirit" of Federal guidelines, but which was more fiscally conservative than required. We also noted that states may deviate from the cost-effectiveness test under various circumstances, several of which were present in the Route 3 project. Finally, we found that the two noise studies used to support the denial of sound barriers were conducted in accordance with Federal guidelines, and that allegations questioning the sufficiency of the data used in these studies were either unfounded or did not accurately characterize the use of the data.