Lombard Residents Fight For I-355 Sound Barrier After Wall Installed On Other Side of Tollway - NBC Chicago

Lombard Residents Fight For I-355 Sound Barrier After Wall Installed On Other Side of Tollway

"At nighttime when a tire pops, it sounds like a gunshot," said Sajel Alreja, who lives near the tollway.

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    Lombard Residents Fight For I-355 Sound Barrier After Wall Installed On Other Side of Tollway

    For years, residents along I-355 in unincorporated DuPage County near Lombard have fought for a sound wall to keep traffic noise at bay. To their surprise, a sound wall was put up -- on the other side of the Illinois tollway. NBC 5's Chris Hush reports. (Published Tuesday, July 23, 2019)

    For years, residents along I-355 in unincorporated DuPage County near Lombard have fought for a sound wall to keep traffic noise at bay.

    The sound, they said, is so loud it's unbearable at times.

    "At nighttime when a tire pops, it sounds like a gunshot," said Sajel Alreja, who lives near the tollway.

    "We find ourselves yelling at each other doing yard work," said Sandy Semler- Hazemi.

    "Imagine it’s the winter time and there’s no leaves on the trees. It just intensifies," said Tiffany Kirk. 

    To the surprise of these residents and others in the neighborhood, a sound wall was put up -- on the other side of the Illinois tollway.

    "So ... what are you to think? We’re not important," said Deborah Noble, who lives near the tollway.

    Noble moved in long before the tollway was constructed in 1989. She and neighbor Joyce Winke still have the first photos of it being used and a letter from the tollway that stated that the Army Corps of Engineers determined a noise barrier wasn’t warranted.

    In a statement, the tollway said Tuesday it would have cost $100,000 per homeowner to construct the noise wall on its right of way, which far exceeds the amount allowed under its policy.

    "Since their concerns were raised this year, we have been pursuing more cost-effective options in conjunction with DuPage County and we’re optimistic we will be able to help," a tollway spokesman said in a statement. 

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    For now the dozens of bushes Winke said she planted over the years will be the only barrier they have. 

    "Just give us the barrier. Yeah, bring it over here and put it up with us!"

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