Audit to Evaluate MnDOT's Noise Barrier Policy

Updated: 10/21/2013 7:51 AM By: Nick Winkler

The barriers that block highway noise from homes will be the focus of an audit aimed at evaluating the Minnesota Department of Transportation's policy choices, how it prioritizes projects, and how it maintains the barriers.

Lawmakers have raised concerns in regard to where MnDOT builds barriers, whether its funding formula is appropriate, and how it determines whether to use concrete or wood.

Neighbors have complained MnDOT does not take into account the opinions of the people most impacted by the construction of a barrier. Others say the wood barriers wear and do not block noise at all in some cases.

A MnDOT spokesman tells 5 Eyewitness News, "MnDOT has worked with the Office of Legislative Auditor as the report has come together. MnDOT believes the report is accurate and agrees with its findings. The agency is taking steps to respond to recommendations raised in the report. Chief among those steps is to review MnDOT’s noise policy, which drives where and when noise walls are constructed. The policy was put in place in 2011. A review committee will be established by the end of this year. When a draft update is ready, MnDOT will seek public input on that draft."