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Sonic acoustic curtains on the inside of a tunnel for blasting

Tunnel construction and noise control measures

Expert advice for dealing with tunnel noise Tunnel construction is...

Expert advice for dealing with tunnel noise

Tunnel construction is a central aspect of modern infrastructure development, particularly in urban areas, and is a collaborative effort that enhances transportation and connectivity. However, it’s important to acknowledge that building tunnels can generate significant noise which can impact nearby communities.

In this article, the Flexshield team will examine the stages of tunnel construction, the types of noise generated, and the various noise control options available. Understanding these aspects underscores the importance of implementing effective noise control measures, and recognises the community’s role in this process, ensuring minimal disruption to residents, businesses, and your project.

The tunnel construction process

Tunnel construction involves a series of meticulous stages, each contributing to the successful completion of the project. Here’s an overview of the key stages involved:

  1. Planning and Feasibility Studies
  2. Environmental and Social Impact Assessments
  3. Design and Engineering
  4. Approval and Permitting
  5. Procurement
  6. Construction
  7. Monitoring and Quality Control
  8. Commissioning and Handover
  9. Operation and Maintenance

The types of noise generated during tunnel development

Tunnel construction generates various types of noise, which can be categorised based on their source and the stage of construction:

1) Site preparation and surface construction

  • Excavation and earthmoving using heavy machinery
  • Construction traffic noise from transporting materials
  • Piling and drilling for support structures

Solution: Sonic Acoustic Curtains.

2) Tunnel boring and excavation

  • Continuous noise from Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs)
  • Intermittent blasting noise from drill and blast methods
  • Noise from temporary ventilation systems

Solution: Sonic Acoustic Curtains or Flexshield Acoustic Noise Walls

3) Structural works and support installation

  • Noise from concrete works, including mixing and pouring
  • Installation of tunnel linings
  • Cutting, welding, and installing steel reinforcements

Solution: Sonic Acoustic Curtains or Sonic Acoustic Mobiles

4) Mechanical and electrical system installation

  • Noise from machinery and tools
  • Welding and metal fabrication activities

Solution: Sonic Acoustic Mobile

5) General construction activities

  • Material handling and impact noise
  • Noise from communication systems

Solution: Sonic Acoustic Curtains

Noise control options for tunnel construction

To mitigate the impact of tunnel noise on nearby communities, various noise control measures can be implemented:

1) Source control

  • Using quieter equipment designed to operate with reduced noise
  • Regular maintenance to ensure machinery operates efficiently
  • Installing noise-reducing attachments like mufflers and silencers
  • Modifying operational techniques to minimise noise

2) Path control

  • Erecting noise barriers around the construction site
  • Constructing enclosures around noisy equipment or processes
  • Using acoustic curtains to reduce noise transmission
    • Strategic placement of equipment away from residential areas.

3) Operational controls

  • Scheduling noisy activities during daytime hours.
  • Staggering noisy activities to avoid amplification.
  • Implementing breaks in noisy operations to provide relief

4) Receiver control

  • Soundproofing affected homes or buildings.
  • Engaging with the community to inform them about the construction schedule and noise levels.

5) Monitoring and compliance

  • Noise monitoring stations will be installed to measure noise levels.
  • Ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal noise regulations.

6) Community measures

  • Providing temporary relocation assistance in extreme cases.
  • Offering compensation for the inconvenience caused to residents.

Why it’s so important to deal with tunnel noise

Effective noise control during tunnel operations is important for several reasons:

Community wellbeing

Excessive noise can disrupt sleep, affect mental health, and reduce the quality of life for residents.

Compliance with regulations

Adhering to noise regulations helps avoid legal issues and potential fines.

Maintaining good relations

Proactive noise control demonstrates respect for the community, helping to maintain good relations and public support for the project.

Health and safety

Reducing tunnel noise levels improves working conditions for construction workers, protecting their hearing and overall health.

Get expert advice on effective measures for tunnel noise control

Tunnel construction – a complex process that’s integral to modern infrastructure development – can significantly impact nearby communities due to the noise it generates. To mitigate this, comprehensive noise control measures must be implemented, to not only ensure the wellbeing of residents and compliance with regulations, but also contribute to the project’s overall success.

By understanding the types of tunnel noise generated and the available noise control options, construction projects can be managed more effectively, striking a balance between progress and community harmony.

For engineered solutions for the construction industry, contact Flexshield 1300 799 969