Measuring the sound in Pasco

Measuring the sound in Pasco »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- Predicting the future can be hard. Predicting how loud it will be, even harder.

Pasco is trying to do just that if it wants to save you money on road work.

You might not think twice about traffic noise, unless you live in it.

Alma Feil lives near Argent Road and I-182. She said, "I don't think it's going to get worse than what we already have."

From sun up to sun down she and her family hear nothing but cars.

"It starts about 4:30 in the morning and it ends about 11o'clock," she said.

The roads around her neighborhood are set to expand. Argent Road will go from 2 lanes to five. This clears the way for future development, including a new on-ramp planned for Road 44.

Before all that can happen, the feds need to know about how loud things would get from the changes made.

Ahmad Qayoumia heads up all road projects for Pasco. He said, "It's predicting a human behavior."

He's factoring the added cost for these studies into the overall prices of the project. One study alone can cost tens of thousands.

"If you don't do it now, it's costs a whole lot more to do later on," he said.

The city will also check the volume expected with an extension to the Oregon Avenue corridor. Pasco plans to overhaul that street adding a roundabout large enough for freight trucks.

Closer to downtown, it's not only about how loud vehicle traffic is on the streets, it's also about how loud the trains are.

If the predicted decibel level is just too high, the city will have to adjust plans to lower it. This could includes adding walls or landscaping. This could add to the cost of keeping things quiet.

Pasco is working to get a final tab for the all of the studies. Just one often costs tens of thousands of dollars.