The National Academies

NCHRP 25-25/Task 106 [Final]

Highway Noise and Historic Properties: A National Review of Effects and Mitigation Practices
[ NCHRP 25-25 (Research for the AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: Louis Berger U.S. Inc.
Principal Investigator: Paul Graham & Steven M. Bedford
Effective Date: 3/1/2018
Completion Date: 2/28/2019

STATUS: Research is complete. The final report is available HERE. A PowerPoint presentation summarizing the project is available HERE.


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that Federal agencies take into account the effects of their undertakings on properties eligible for listing in, or listed in the National Register of Historic Places ("historic properties") and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to comment. According to 36 CFR 800.5(a)(2)(v), adverse effects specifically can include the "introduction of visual, atmospheric, or audible elements that diminish the integrity of the property's significant historic features". While the analysis of effects resulting from alteration or diminishment of setting by visual changes are a common element of Section 106 consultation, analysis of noise effects on historic properties is less common.

In 2012, NCHRP Task 72 examined the practices used to address the potential effects of construction vibration on historic buildings (the Task 72 final report is available at https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=3115). Since that time, there has been considerable interest in taking a similar approach to examine highway noise impacts to historic properties.   


The purpose of this study was to provide a resource to assist state departments of transportation (DOTs) in understanding the long-term effects of highway noise on historic properties, how these effects are considered under Section 106, and to provide examples of successful mitigation practices.

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