Saps to block sound

New shrubbery and plants between the Bruckner service road and expressway (above) from Coddington to Baisley avenues should serve as a sound barrier. Photo by Victor Chu

State DOT may finally abate a whoosing sound that many who live in private homes along the Bruckner Expressway sometimes experience, thanks to a selective planting of new saplings.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Jimmy Vacca worked together with state Department of Transportation to get a second bundle of tree saplings and shrubs planted along Bruckner Boulevard between Coddington and Baisley avenues.

The trees will be located next to where the grade of the highway comes above ground and is level with private homes lining the side of the road, an area that sometimes needs minor sound abatements to maintain a relatively tranquil quality of life.

“We wanted to provide some kind of mechanism to muffle noise and create a barrier between the service road and the highway,” said Assemblyman Benedetto. “This not only provides a nice scenic effect, but also helps the Bronx go green and an enhances the environment.”

Benedetto had presided over a planting of trees along the road several years ago, but in that planting, which was also undertaken by the state DOT, many of the small trees and shrubs that did not take hold in the small amount of soil located between the service road and the highway.

This time, with better selection of different kinds of green plants available, Benedetto and those who live in the tight-knit Waterbury-LaSalle community are hoping that the plants take root.

“We have now done a second planting that will include a wide variety of shrubbery and plants, and hopefully this time it will take,” Benedetto added.

Benedetto said that he and Vacca had been planning the project for a long time, and discussed many different ways to provide a sound barrier to those along the roadway. Benedetto and Vacca even went so far as have the state DOT study putting up a wall as a barrier, but they decided that it was wrong for the area.

“We were discussing at various times a wall which could serve as a sound barrier, but we decided against it for both financial and esthetic reasons,” Benedetto stated. “It costs about $1 million a mile to build at wall along a highway, and we thought that if we did put up a wall, it would likely become another target for graffiti.”

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