Code Section Group

Streets and Highways Code - SHC

DIVISION 1. STATE HIGHWAYS [50 - 897]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

CHAPTER 1. Administration [50 - 227.1]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

ARTICLE 6. Freeway Noise Attenuation [215.5 - 216.5]
  ( Heading of Article 6 amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 306, Sec. 4. )

215.5.
  

(a) The department shall develop and implement a system of priorities for ranking the need for installation of noise attenuation barriers along freeways in the California freeway and expressway system. In establishing a priority system, the department shall give the highest consideration to residential areas which were developed prior to the opening of the freeway. If alterations have been made to the freeway since its original opening which result in a significant and measurable increase in ambient noise levels, the opening date for that segment of the freeway, for the purposes of determining priorities under this section, is the completion date of that alteration project. Other criteria for determining priorities shall include the existing and future intensity of sound generated by the freeway, the increase in traffic flow since the original construction of the freeway, the cost of building the soundwall in relation to the expected noise reduction, the number of persons living in close proximity to the freeway, and whether a majority of the occupants in close proximity to the freeway resided there prior to the time the freeway routing was adopted by the commission. The city or county in which the residential area is located shall be responsible for providing documentation to the department on the percentage of original occupants still residing along the freeway.

The actual cost of construction shall be used in determining the relative priority ranking of projects funded and constructed pursuant to subdivision (d).

(b) When all freeways have been ranked in priority order, the department shall, consistent with available funding, include in its proposed state transportation improvement program, a program of construction of noise attenuation barriers beginning with the highest priority.

In preparing the annual priority list, the department shall not add any new project to the list ahead of a project that has been funded by a city or county, or by any other public agency using public funds, and is awaiting state reimbursement pursuant to subdivision (d).

(c) The commission shall include in the estimate adopted pursuant to Section 14525 of the Government Code an annual and five-year estimate of funds estimated to be available for noise attenuation barriers along freeways. If any city or county constructs a noise attenuation barrier along a freeway pursuant to subdivision (d), the commission shall allocate funds for the project in the fiscal year the project would have been eligible for funding based on the department’s priority list and the commission’s fund estimate at the time of approval of the project pursuant to subdivision (d).

(d) If any city, county, or public agency constructs a noise attenuation barrier along a freeway using public funds prior to the time that the barrier reaches a high enough priority for state funding, then, when the funding priority is reached, the department shall reimburse the city, county, or public agency without interest for the cost of construction, but the reimbursement may not exceed the cost of the department to construct the barriers. Reimbursement shall be made only if the city, county, or public agency constructs the noise attenuation barrier to the standards approved by department, follows bidding and contracting procedures approved by the department, and the project is approved by the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1107, Sec. 1.)

215.6.
  

If any city or county contributes at least 33 percent of the estimated cost of any soundwall project included for the first time in the state transportation improvement program in 1992 or in subsequent years, that project shall be given priority over all other soundwall projects to be included for the first time in that state transportation improvement program. If, due to the accelerated priority given a project by this section, two or more projects each qualify for the highest priority, the relative ranking between the two projects shall be determined on the basis of their relative ranking prior to being accelerated.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1107, Sec. 2.)

215.7.
  

(a) In the event of the destruction of any segment of a state highway due to a natural disaster, when that segment remains out of service for five years or more, the department may, for purposes of mitigating the effects of increased traffic and noise on alternate state highways, use funds from the State Highway Account in the State Transportation Fund sufficient in amount to meet the state’s required matching share of the costs of construction of noise attenuation barriers on any alternate state highway where traffic has increased due to the destruction of that segment if the construction of those barriers is eligible for at least 25 percent funding from federal emergency relief funds and otherwise meets the requirements of Section 215.5. That amount is hereby appropriated to the department from that account, as a loan, that shall be repaid from funds made available under subdivision (d) of Section 215.5 for that construction.

(b) For purposes of this section, “natural disaster” has the meaning as defined in Section 8680.3 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1241, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1993.)

216.
  

(a) The noise level produced by the traffic on, or by the construction of, a state freeway shall be measured in the classrooms, libraries, multipurpose rooms, and spaces used for pupil personnel services of a public or private elementary or secondary school if the rooms or spaces are being used for the purpose for which they were constructed and they were constructed under any of the following circumstances:

(1) Prior to the award of the initial construction contract for the freeway route and prior to January 1, 1974.

(2) After December 31, 1973, and prior to the issuance of a statement of present and projected noise levels of the freeway route by the department pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 65302 of the Government Code.

(3) Subsequent to the construction of the freeway but prior to any alteration or expansion of the freeway that results in a significant and perceptible increase in ambient noise levels in the rooms or spaces.

(b) The measurements shall be made at appropriate times during regular school hours and shall not include noise from sources that exceed the maximum permitted by law.

(c) If the noise level produced from the freeway traffic, or the construction of the freeway, exceeds 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq., the department shall undertake a noise abatement program in any classroom, library, multipurpose room, or space used for pupil personnel services to reduce the freeway traffic noise level therein to 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq., or less, by, measures including, but not limited to, installing acoustical materials, eliminating windows, installing air-conditioning, or constructing sound baffle structures.

(d) If the department determines that the construction of the freeway will result in a noise level exceeding 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq., the department shall complete the temporary or permanent noise abatement program prior to commencing that construction, or as soon as practicable thereafter.

(e) If it becomes necessary to convert the classrooms, libraries, multipurpose rooms, or spaces used for pupil personnel services to other school-related purposes because the freeway traffic noise level therein exceeds 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq., the department shall pay the cost of the conversions.

(f) If the noise level generated from sources within and without the classrooms, libraries, multipurpose rooms, or spaces used for pupil personnel services exceeds 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq. prior to construction of the freeway or completion of the alteration or expansion of the freeway, as the case may be, and the noise from the freeway, or its construction, alteration, or expansion, also exceeds 55dBA, L10, or 52dBA, Leq., the department shall undertake a noise abatement program that will reduce the noise to its preconstruction, prealteration, or preexpansion level.

(g) Priority for noise abatement programs shall be given to those public and private elementary and secondary classrooms, libraries, multipurpose rooms, and spaces used for pupil personnel services constructed in conformance with Article 3 (commencing with Section 17280) of Chapter 3 of Part 10.5 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code or subject to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).

(h) As used in this section, dBA means decibels measured by the “A” weighting described in Section 3.1 of the American National Standard specification for sound level meters, S1.4-1971, approved April 27, 1971, and published by the American National Standards Institute. L10 is the sound level that is exceeded 10 percent of the time for the period under consideration and is a value which is an indicator of both the magnitude and frequency of occurrence of the loudest noise events. Leq. is the equivalent steady state sound which in a stated period of time would contain the same acoustic energy as the time-varying sound level during the same time period.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 438, Sec. 28. Effective January 1, 2003.)

216.1.
  

As used in Section 216, “spaces used for pupil personnel services” means rooms that are used primarily for counseling, testing, or similar type services involving the presence of pupils.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 969.)

216.5.
  

(a) The department shall construct at least one demonstration noise attenuation barrier fabricated from rice straw upon meeting the conditions and requirements of this section.

(b) Prior to construction of the barrier specified in subdivision (a), the department shall identify an appropriate location, and shall develop separate cost estimates for constructing a barrier at that location using a standard noise attenuation barrier design and constructing the barrier using the rice straw design.

(c) If a noise barrier system fabricated from rice straw appears on the department’s list of approved noise barrier systems, the department shall, within one year, identify a suitable regularly programmed transportation project that includes a noise barrier element for construction of the demonstration noise barrier system. In making its project selection, the department shall consider projected completion schedules for potential candidate projects with the intent of completing the demonstration project expeditiously.

(d) The department shall not be required to construct the rice straw barrier specified in subdivision (a) until all the following have occurred:

(1) A noise barrier system fabricated from rice straw is approved by the department and appears on the department’s list of approved noise barrier systems.

(2) Funding has been secured and made available by the manufacturer of the selected rice straw system to offset any additional costs incurred by the department in using the rice straw barrier design based on the cost estimates prepared pursuant to subdivision (b).

(3) A location has been identified for construction of the rice straw barrier system that meets safety, environmental, and related project requirements, and sufficient funding has been programmed and is available for construction of the barrier based on the cost estimate for the standard noise barrier design.

(e) The department may select any approved rice straw barrier system for use in the demonstration project as long as the manufacturer of the selected system secures and provides the required funding specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d). If no manufacturer of an approved rice straw barrier system provides the required funding, the department shall not be required to complete the demonstration project.

(f) The department shall, on or before January 1, 2005, transmit to the Legislature a report regarding the implementation of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 62, Sec. 294. Effective January 1, 2004.)

SHCStreets and Highways Code - SHC6