CB neighborhood begs for sound barrier

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - Despite the fact that the Bluffs Acres neighborhood in Council Bluffs is home to many retirees, the community isn't exactly quiet.

The community, home to about 1500 people, has been nestled off Interstate 80 near 24th Street since the 1980s. In the past few decades, the area has grown, traffic has increased and now - the lanes of I-80/I-29 will soon expand.

Residents are asking for a sound wall or some sort of buffer.

Dan Vorland lives right off the interstate and he says his low-key community has a noisy problem.

"It really has an effect on my life, on my family's life," he said.

About a quarter mile away, Stephen Blair says the same.

"Granddaughter goes outside and shes 3 and the other one is 8, and they've got to yell at each other because they can't hear out in the backyard," Blair said.

Bluffs Acres owner Don Hansen says studies dating back a decade or so show the noise levels exceeded federal limits.

"They did not take into consideration all of the residents we presently have here," Hansen said. "Just like when they did the study, JC Penneys, which is out front, wasn't even there."

The Iowa Department of Transportation says its looking into a noise berm, a form of sound barrier. First, drainage studies will need to be conducted to determine if the berm is feasible for the area.

Residents say they don't care what it is as long as it can go up before the freeway opens all the way up.

"Everything on 24th Street - all the hotels, all the truck stops, Bass Pro Shop, the casino - that just makes this a lot heavier traffic," Vorland said. "And it's not going away and it's not going to slow down. It's just going to build and build."

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