Sound barrier offered for highway project encroaching private property

A $43 million interstate widening project begins next year, but not before giving residents the option to silence highway traffic with a sound barrier.

A lot has changed for Mike Easlick after 40 years of living next to I-75.

"They had less traffic back then that's for sure," said highway front property owner Mike Easlick.

Now, a 2015 widening project is going to move the asphalt even closer.

"I wouldnâ??t say I need it. That would be going too far,â?? said Easlick.

To decide if a sound barrier is necessary MDOT conducted a sound study. Checking to see if homes like Easlick's would have a sound increase of ten decibels, which it does.

"Once you have a change by ten decibels then abatement is required," said MDOTâ??s Jason Garza.

Now, the 76 people living closes to the highway are voting on whether they want a sound barrier or not and everyone else is voting on what it will look like.

"The costs vary based on the design and aesthetics we have on it but itâ??s not too much of a price difference," said Garza.

MDOT says the cost to silence traffic, is about $2 million. Although MDOT is footing the bill, people still question the state's appropriation of funds.

"Can we afford it? Thatâ??s the thing I would rather use the money for something else, like more roads," said Easlick.

Results from the vote are going to be simple majority. We will have those results, Wednesday.