Property owners to vote on I-277 noise walls

Property owners who live along the Brookshire Freeway north of uptown have until Feb. 21 to vote on whether they want noise walls on Interstate 277.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has proposed building noise walls along I-77 north of uptown, as well as along I-277.

The city of Charlotte and Center City Partners have questioned the appearance of the proposed walls, concerned they will be unsightly and block views of uptown skyscrapers.

“The solution that they are offering is out of proportion to the problem,” said Allison Billings, vice president for neighborhood development, transportation and sustainability at Center Center Partners. “The scale to the solution they are offering is four blocks long and 40 feet high.”

Bridget Dixon, a city of Charlotte planning coordinator, said the city’s role is to help residents have a voice in the process. If the walls are built, the city said it wants input in their design and color scheme.

Property owners who would receive a five decibel or more noise reduction from the walls are eligible to vote.

If someone doesn’t vote, the DOT considers that a vote in favor of the walls.

The DOT awards three points, or votes, for a property owner who is adjacent to the freeway. Other votes for tenants and property owners are awarded one point.

There are two sections of proposed walls that are up for vote.

Billings said that if the walls are rejected, the group will work with the state and residents to find another way to mitigate highway noise.

“We will come up with a design solution that’s less impactful than what’s on the table,” she said.