April 6, 2015
PENETRON Helps Silence Ohio Highways
The ODOT has constructed numerous sound walls using PENETRON technology. The most recent project, a two-mile-segment on Interstate 70 just east of Columbus, Ohio, was completed last month and combines concrete durability with a pleasing exterior design.
Transportation noise – from the engine, the exhaust, and the tires rolling on the pavement – is usually considered undesirable noise. Numerous studies have shown that reducing this transportation noise in the environment is important for the health and welfare of the surrounding communities; side effects range from loss of sleep and hearing loss to cardiac arrest.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is currently implementing dozens of construction projects for sound walls along the state’s major highways. Each project is carried out in collaboration with the communities affected by the transportation noise. The construction guidelines are set in the corresponding “noise analysis” and concern the placement, height, and exterior design of each wall.
The building material used for the majority of Ohio’s sound walls is concrete. A waterproofing admixture is specified for almost all of these project types. Up to now, PENETRON has helped complete approximately 15 sound wall projects for the ODOT, using PENETRON ADMIX for the concrete structures. In addition, the admixture enhances flexibility of the wall construction by allowing the application of many of the different aesthetic coatings to the finished walls.
“The sound walls along the interstate highways in Ohio are often exposed to harsh environmental conditions,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of the PENETRON Group. “PENETRON crystalline technology provides the ODOT with a cost effective solution that delivers freeze thaw protection from salt spray, ultimately resulting in significantly greater durability for the sound walls.”
The protection afforded the Ohio sound walls was proven in recent tests applying a high chloride concentration on concrete (ASTM C1556); PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete was shown to have an enhanced life span of +40-60 years compared to conventional concrete. In the ODOT projects, PENETRON ADMIX helps protect the concrete while allowing aesthetically pleasing textures and coatings to be employed in the sound wall designs.