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November 10, 2016

Honor award: Unique design
State Route 167 noise wall

Photo by Don Kenney
CMU was considered less susceptible to graffiti than precast concrete.

Location: Algona

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.

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