People living near Lakeview interstate sound walls wonder why they aren't more solid

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 8:06 PM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS - When you drive along I-10 from Gentilly and Lakeview through Metairie, you will notice some of the sound walls are made of wood or chain link fencing, while others are concrete.

Now another serious crash has one neighborhood asking why the walls in their area are inferior.

Sunday neighbors in a Lakeview neighborhood heard a terrible noise.

"It sounded like someone unloading a giant dumpster and (they) dropped it or something. Just boom," said a resident named Rick.

Another car crashed through the sound wall at the I-610 Canal Blvd. exit, westbound. Neighbors say it's happened several times in recent years and they question why just up the road in Jefferson Parish, there are concrete, higher walls while in Lakeview, lower walls made of wood and composite board. And in the City Park area, just chain link fences.

"Had there been a person there, there was still blood on the car, they would not have lived through this," said resident Deb Lavender.

Debris went flying down the alley. Her garage door was broken and all the while children were playing in her yard.

In one neighbor's opinion, it wasn't the wood or particle board that kept the car from going into neighbor's homes, it was the solid piece of concrete that was ripped out of the ground, that was holding down a pole. He said the car ended up wrapped around it.

"It was one of my worst nightmares and it happened," said Lavender.

The Department of Transportation and Development says the walls are only to "reduce noise in residential areas and are not designed to prevent roadway departure incidents." But according to a sound app. the noise is louder near the wood walls compared to the concrete. Neighbors and one civic leader told us they have complained to the city council and even U.S. senators, but still no answers.

"I've gotten used to the noise, but the cars coming through, you can't get used to that," said Rick.

A DOTD spokeswoman says the sound wall barriers were put up many years ago and she is unable to tell us the reason for the design choice.

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