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Highway 290 expansion comes at noisy cost for some Jersey Village residents

Friday, August 30, 2013

Expansion in the Jersey Village area could come at a cost to some homeowners because of noise from the freeway. With the Highway 290 expansion well underway, a nearby neighborhood is now considering putting up a sound barrier.

There's no doubt that the Highway 290 expansion is necessary but so are sound barriers, and the Texas Department of Transportation and Jersey Village are trying to come to terms with that.

Just blocks away from 290, Walter and Barbara McKinney have called this corner of Jersey Village home for more than 30 years, and they say the highway needs expanding.

"It needs to be widened because there needs to be better traffic flow," Walter McKinney said.

But with more lanes, comes more noise. Trying to mitigate the impending sound increase is a priority of residents in this subdivision.

"I think the mayor ought to work with them, and get the best they can out of it," Barbara McKinney said.

Jersey village officials and TxDOT have indeed been working on the issue. The latest proposal by TxDOT is a sound barrier wall that would run between 290 and the Jersey Village neighborhood near the highway.

"I think it will solve some of the concerns. What we don't know right now is whether it will solve all of the concerns," Jersey Village City Manager Mike Castro said.

Not everyone's excited about the wall idea. Bridget Thomas worries it might make her bakery business more isolated.

"I'm in an obscure location anyway, so if there is a wall, that will just make it more obscure," she said.

The city and TxDOT are meeting next month to work out the specifics.

The McKinneys hope it will result in a solid sound barrier wall.

"I would welcome a wall to be built in this area in order to help the noise, because it is going to be a problem," Walter McKinney said.

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jersey village, local, miya shay
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