Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info



Traffic noise analysis and noise barriers

Noise barriers are solid obstructions built between the highway and properties along the highway designed to reduce the noise level of vehicles. Barriers can be either berms or high vertical walls. Constructing a noise wall must be feasible and reasonable. Feasibility and reasonableness are determined by cost, amount of noise reduction, safety, and site considerations.

Noise levels will be studied as part of the proposed I-35W in Bloomington project. Once noise levels are determined, a noise wall proposal will be developed.

For more information about traffic noise analysis and noise barriers, please visit MnDOT’s Noise Webpage.

Noise wall voting process

If a noise wall meets the necessary criteria, then it will be proposed as part of the project and MnDOT will seek input from the community.

Who is eligible to vote on whether a noise barrier should be constructed?

MnDOT will send notices and noise wall ballots to people who are eligible to vote. Only the property owners or residents who experience a noise level reduction of at least five decibels from the proposed noise walls can vote on the wall.

How does voting work?

If 50 percent or more of all possible voting points from eligible voters are received after the first request for votes, the majority of votes (based upon the votes received) determines the outcome. If less than 50 percent of the possible voting points for a wall are received after the first request, a second ballot will be mailed to the eligible voters who did not respond.

If 25 percent or more of all possible points for a barrier are received after the second request for votes, then the outcome is determined by the majority of votes received. If less than 25 percent of total possible points for a noise barrier are received after the second request for votes, then the barrier will NOT be constructed. If there is a tie, where there are equal numbers of points for and against a noise wall, the noise wall WILL be constructed.

What happens if I didn't vote?

If you don’t vote, the voting points assigned to you do not count for or against the noise wall.

How are the votes counted?

MnDOT uses a weighted voting system. Points are determined by how much your property or unit is affected by the noise wall and whether or not you own the property or unit. If a noise wall is voted down, it will not be reconsidered.

Please see MnDOT’s 2017 Noise Policy for more information about the voting process.