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Tue April 20 2021

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WSP gets M40 noise barrier commission

17 Nov 15 Highways England has handed WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff a £2m consultancy contract to work out where best to place new types of acoustic fencing on the M40 motorway.

WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff will review sites along the M40 between junction 3 (Loudwater) and junction 8 (Wheatley), which have been identified as areas where road noise is a particular issue and help decide where the barriers would be of most benefit.

This follows a Highways Agency competition to develop a range of acoustic barriers with embedded solar panels. The idea is that the energy produced could help offset the installation and operating costs. [See previous report here.]

Successor body Highways England is continuing the project, working in partnership with the M40 Chiltern Environmental Group, (M40 CEG) Wycombe District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council.

Six entries were shortlisted and WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff will now work with the designers of the shortlisted entries to trial these noise barriers at the identified sites on the M40. These designs may also be installed on other English motorways and trunk roads in the future.

Highways England project manager Mark Saunders said: “Our objective is to develop cost effective noise barriers to improve community quality of life through reduced road traffic noise. After selecting six innovative ideas from the 18 competition entries we received, we have now awarded the design contract. This will help us decide which types of barriers will best suit the different sites on the M40 and start designing a solution for each of them.”

Subject to completion of the site review and development of design solutions for each site identified, Highways England aims to start preparatory work for construction on site in winter 2016-17.

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