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November 10, 2016
Mason contractor: R&D Masonry
Architect: Washington State Department of Transportation
Owner: Washington State Department of Transportation
General contractor: Atkinson Construction
Masonry supplier: Mutual Materials
The 1.3-mile noise wall along state Route 167 in Algona is part of the SR 167 high-occupancy toll lane extension project.
The wall’s designers were faced with the challenge of finding a noise wall design that was cost-effective and aesthetically appealing, with minimal impact on commuters and neighbors.
Concrete masonry units allowed the wall to be built with smaller equipment, eliminating the need for lane closures, large cranes and noisy night work that is required when using precast concrete. The design team also wanted to use a material that was not as susceptible to possible graffiti defacing.
The decision to use an ashlar bond design with raked joints met all the required needs. The final design gives the CMU wall a stone-like look with the added luxury of the ashlar pattern being visible from both sides of the wall.
The construction of this ashlar CMU noise wall proves that masonry products make for good neighbors. The masonry design was less harmful to the environment, created a safer work environment, and allowed a construction schedule of less than five months from beginning to completion.