A roughly $22 million sound wall along the 210 Freeway has done little to mitigate traffic-related noise or pollution, some residents say.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Caltrans, county and city officials gathered at the Victory Chapel parking lot Monday to celebrate the completion of the Measure R-funded sound wall project, the construction of which began three years ago.
The wall runs along a 2-mile stretch of the eastbound and westbound 210 Freeway between Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia and California Avenue in Monrovia.
It reduces freeway noise by 5 decibels, officials say.
"This has been a long term project for the city of Arcadia to get relief from that sound," Mayor Bob Harbicht told the crowd.
Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz noted most of her city is comprised of residential neighborhoods.
"We all talk about water pollution, air pollution," she said. "Noise pollution is just as important and just as devastating to our community. So, this is something that will go a long way in the communities of Monrovia and in Arcadia to help our residents with the noise pollution that they have been living with."
However, Joni Lucarelli, who lives just off of the Forest Avenue off-ramp, says the sound wall has done nothing to improve her situation.
"It made things worse," she said, pointing out that the sound wall does not extend along her off-ramp. Drivers can look directly into Lucarelli's bedroom windows.
"There's no privacy," she said. As she spoke, a light breeze kicked up dust along the unlandscaped off-ramp.
Lucarelli's neighbor, Nancy Kazek, says the incomplete sound wall has created an "amphitheater-like" effect and actually raised noise levels.
Luckily, a new $700 million project may bring Lucarelli and others some relief. The project includes completion of the sound wall along the Forest Avenue off-ramp as part of a plan to add 3.8 miles of sound wall in various Arcadia and Pasadena neighborhoods.
Metro Board of Director and Duarte Mayor John Fasana said the project will be funded by public and private partnerships so that construction can begin in 2013 instead of 2023.
Fansana said the Package 10 project will go before Metro's Planning and Programming Committee for approval Wednesday afternoon.