Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULE FILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R930. Transportation, Preconstruction.
Rule R930-3. Highway Noise Abatement.
As in effect on January 1, 2020
Table of Contents
- R930-3-1. Purpose and Authority.
- R930-3-2. Definitions.
- R930-3-3. Applicability.
- R930-3-4. Noise Impact Determination.
- R930-3-5. Noise Abatement Objective.
- R930-3-6. Noise Abatement Conditions.
- R930-3-7. Declaration of Intent.
- R930-3-8. Public Involvement.
- R930-3-9. Coordination with Local Officials.
- R930-3-10. Local Government Participation.
- R930-3-11. Projects Funded From Other Sources.
- R930-3-12. Construction Off Right-of-Way.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
The purpose of this rule is to allow UDOT to address highway noise impacts and to determine the conditions under which noise abatement may be approved. This rule is authorized by the grant of rulemaking authority found in Section 72-6-111. This rule is consistent with the Federal Highway Administration's Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise, 23 CFR 772 (April 1, 2011), which is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference.
(1) "Existing Noise Level" means the noise level, Leq, resulting from the natural and mechanical sources and human activity, considered to be usually present in a particular area.
(2) "Design Noise Level" means the noise level, Leq, calculated for the worst traffic noise conditions likely to occur on a regular basis using a method approved by FHWA.
(3) "Type I Project" means a highway construction project that is related to an increase in traffic noise - construction of a highway on new location or the physical alteration of an existing highway which substantially changes the alignment or increases the number of through-traffic lanes or the addition of auxiliary lanes or interchange ramps.
(4) "Type II Project" means a proposed highway project strictly for noise abatement on an existing highway.
(5) "UDOT" means Utah Department of Transportation.
(6) "FHWA" means Federal Highway Administration.
(7) "dBA" means decibels of sound expressed or measured using the "A" weighting scale of a sound-pressure level meter.
(8) "Leq" means the equivalent (average) sound level reported in units of dBA.
(9) "AASHTO" means American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
(1) Type I Projects. Noise abatement shall be considered for Type I projects where noise impacts are identified. A new or proposed subdivision or other development must have a formal building permit before the issuance of the final environmental decision document to be considered for noise abatement.
(2) Type II Projects. UDOT does not provide a noise retrofit (Type II) program to construct noise abatement measures along existing state transportation facilities.
A traffic noise impact occurs, for purposes of this policy, when either of the following conditions exists at a sensitive land use:
(1) The design noise level is greater than or equal to the UDOT Noise Abatement Criterion (NAC) in Table 1 for each corresponding land use category; or
(2) The design noise level substantially exceeds (ten dBA or more) the existing noise level.
When noise abatement measures are being considered, every reasonable effort shall be made to obtain substantial noise reductions consistent with Department procedures.
In order to be considered for noise abatement, all of the following conditions must be met:
(1) Noise abatement shall not be installed where it will create a hazard or violate design standards. Specifically, noise abatement walls shall not be added within the highway clear zone as defined in the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide;
(2) At least seven dBA of noise reduction must be achievable at 35% of front row receptors; and
(3) Noise abatement measures must be cost effective.
(a) For residential areas (Category B, Table 1), Cost effectiveness is based on the cost of abatement divided by the number of benefited receptors. Benefited receptors must be considered in determining a noise barrier's cost per receptor regardless of whether or not they were identified as impacted. A benefited receptor is any impacted or non-impacted receptor that gets a noise reduction of 5 dBA or more as a result of the noise barrier. The maximum cost used to determine reasonableness to provide noise abatement is listed in the Noise Abatement Procedures. This cost may be periodically reviewed by the Department for reasonableness and updated, as needed.
(b) For non-residential areas (Category A, C, D or E, Table 1): Cost effectiveness depends on the height of noise wall required and corresponding length of frontage. In any case, a reasonable cost for noise abatement will not exceed the cost effectiveness criteria listed in the Noise Abatement Procedures section of the UDOT Noise Policy.
Environmental study documents will indicate those areas where noise impacts are projected and areas where abatement appears reasonable and feasible. A final decision on the installation of abatement measures will be made after completing final design and the balloting process.
(1) As part of the final design phase of projects, the Department needs to establish whether property owners and residents are in favor of noise abatement measures. This process involves sending ballots to the following groups so they can indicate their preference for or against noise abatement measures:
(a) All benefited receptors (property owners and residents/renters). A benefited receptor is one that would receive a reduction of 5 dBA or more as a result of noise abatement; and
(b) Receptors that border or are directly adjacent to the end of a proposed noise wall that are not, by definition, benefited by the wall.
(2) The number of votes is established as follows:
(a) Owner occupied residences: The owner will have 1 vote.
(b) Rental homes, multi-family residences and apartments: The owner will have 1 vote per unit and the resident/renter will have 1 vote for the unit.
(c) Day care centers, hospitals, libraries, medical facilities, parks, picnic areas, places of worship, playgrounds, public meeting rooms, public or nonprofit institutional structures: The owner will have 1 vote.
(d) Commercial/industrial businesses: The owner will have 1 vote for the unit and, if applicable, the tenant will have 1 vote for the unit.
(e) Mobile home parks: The mobile home owner will have 1 vote. The lot owner, if different than the home owner, will have 1 vote.
(3) Properties owned by UDOT - It is the policy of UDOT to abstain from voting as a receptor and these votes will not be calculated in the denominator of total votes described in assessing ballots.
(4) Assessing ballots - When votes are counted, property owners' votes will receive a multiplier factor of 5 compared to residents (non-owners) factor of 1.
(a) Noise abatement will only be recommended if 75 percent of votes counted, favor noise abatement. The denominator used to calculate this percentage will equal the total number of votes. In addition, at least 75 percent of the total number of completed ballots must be returned to adequately assess if noise abatement measures are desired. If less than 75 percent of ballots are returned after balloting efforts are completed, then noise abatement measures will be deemed not reasonable.
(b) Ballots sent by mail are deemed by the Department as "due diligence" in notifying the affected property owners and residents/renters of possible noise mitigation measures in their area. Ballots will be sent by regular mail to each property owner of record and each residing household/resident. Each ballot will include a deadline for return to the Department. For ballots sent but not received by the deadline, a second ballot will be sent by Registered Mail to those who have not returned a ballot.
(c) If the voting process results in a decision not to construct noise abatement, the area will not be considered for noise abatement unless a future transportation project falls under the guidelines of a Type I Project.
For Type I Projects, the Department will inform local officials of noise compatible planning concepts and an estimate of future noise levels on undeveloped lands or properties within the project limits.
In instances where noise abatement has already been deemed feasible and reasonable, a third party such as a local municipality, may contribute funds to make functional or aesthetic enhancements to a noise abatement feature.
The Utah Code authorizes the Department to construct and maintain noise abatement measures along state highways in cases where the cost for the noise abatement is provided by citizens, adjacent property owners, developers, or local governments, and meeting other established criteria. These cases may be treated as a special application of Paragraph R930-3-10, in which the Department may design, build, and maintain the abatement measure, and the local government agency shall pay the Department for all preliminary engineering, construction, and maintenance costs.
Normally, noise walls built pursuant to this rule will be constructed within Department right-of-way and owned and maintained by the Department. There are cases in which Department right-of-way is not the most prudent location for noise barriers, yet noise abatement is still feasible and reasonable if built on adjacent property or adjacent public right-of-way. In these cases:
(1) The Department's cost is limited to normal cost for abatement on Department right-of-way.
(2) In no case shall the Department construct a noise barrier unless the adjacent property owners allow access and easements as necessary in order to construct and maintain the barrier.
TABLE 1- UDOT Noise Abatement Criteria (NAC) (Hourly A- Weighted Sound Level decibels (dB(A))) Activity UDOT Evaluation Activity Category Criteria(1) Location Description Leq (h) A 56 Exterior Lands on which serenity and quiet are of extraordinary significance and serve an important public need and where the preservation of those qualities is essential if the area is to continue to serve its intended purpose. B 66 Exterior Residential C 66 Exterior Active sports areas, amphitheaters, auditoriums, campgrounds, cemeteries, day care centers, hospitals, libraries, medical facilities, parks, picnic areas, places of worship, playgrounds, public meeting rooms, public or nonprofit institutional structures, radio studios, recording studios, recreation areas, Section 4(f) sites, schools, television studios, trails and trail crossings. D 51 Interior Auditoriums, day care centers, hospitals, libraries, medical facilities, places of worship, public meeting rooms, public or nonprofit institutional structures, radio studios, recording studios, schools, and television studios. E 71 Exterior Hotels, motels, offices, restaurants/bars, and other developed lands, properties or activities not included in A-D or F. F No Limit - Agriculture, airports, bus yards, emergency services, industrial, logging, maintenance facilities, manufacturing, mining, rail yards, retail facilities, shipyards, utilities (water resources, water treatment, electrical), and warehousing. G No Limit - Undeveloped lands that are not permitted. (1) Hourly A-weighted sound level in decibels reflecting a 1 dBA "approach" value below 23 CFR 772 values.
transportation, barriers, traffic noise abatement, highways
October 10, 2017
October 25, 2016
72-1-201; 72-7-101; 72-6-111
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R930, please contact the promulgating agency (Transportation, Preconstruction). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from https://rules.utah.gov/help-rules-who-to-contact/.