New surface to reduce motorway noise in Limerick suburbs

The resurfacing work will be done at night to minimise disruption.

A NEW road surface along an eight kilometre stretch of the M7 motorway between Castletroy and Rosbrien is designed to provide long-term health benefits to residents who live close to the motorway.

The decision to provide a low road noise surface follows a major pilot study by Limerick City and County Council assessing the benefits to health by implementing noise reducing interventions, particularly near Monaleen.

The council developed its noise action plan in compliance with an EU Directive and it included a study of the noise’ hot spot’ at Monaleen which began at the end of 2019. This involved a lengthy process of noise monitoring, noise modelling and the assessment of those results by the Council.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is working in collaboration with the council to fund the pilot project by bringing forward a scheduled lifecycle maintenance intervention for a section of the M7.

A council spokesman said that the provision of a low-noise road surface will not eliminate road noise for communities living near the M7 but “it should have a positive impact on their long-term health”.

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The new surface will be a Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) surface with chips incorporated into the body of the material as opposed to the older Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA) where chips are rolled into asphalt mix when hot. This gives a smoother and quieter ride quality while maintaining the required surface texture for safety purposes.

The resurfacing works are expected to start in late July/early August for completion by late September/early October. All work will take place at night on a phased approach to protect workers and minimise traffic disruption.

The roads impacted will be fully operational each morning and only one side of the motorway will be closed at a time.

This phasing of the night-time closures is to minimise disruption and is subject to securing necessary temporary road closures and temporary road works speed limits.

Limerick County Council Senior Executive Scientist Simon Jennings said: “The pilot project should have a positive impact on the health of communities living besides the M7 in Limerick. The Council acknowledges the support of TII and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with them on the Project.”

The project is supported by the Department of the Environment and will provide a model for other local authorities to follow.