• August 15th, 2023

Best practices with owners, engineers and contractors in noise barrier wall projects

Open communication and flexibility between project partners are key to the success of any project

The AIL Sound Walls team takes pride in working very closely with our project partners — owners, engineers, acoustics consultants, contractors and the like — to ensure our projects avoid or minimize challenges and achieve their best possible outcomes.

Often these relationships start many months (or even years) before a project breaks ground. Our dedication to working closely with our partners throughout the full project cycle has helped us earn what we like to call “trusted advisor” status with them.

Collaboration and planning at the earliest stages of the noise barrier wall project

In many cases, we are involved with one or more of our potential project partners very early in the planning and design stages — often before a tender is even issued. We find that the sooner we get involved in the project cycle, the more opportunities we may have to influence the design and offer solutions that will save our partners time and money.

AIL Sound Walls professionals are very experienced in working with owners, engineers, acoustic consultants and local government officials to help expedite noise barrier wall projects. Our own Technical Sales Representatives, Engineers and Designers value a collaborative approach with our project partners and, many times, we are involved in technical presentations to governing bodies or neighborhood organizations on behalf of the project.

Project meetings, ongoing updates and site assistance

Once we are awarded a job, our Project Kick-Off Meeting is an important juncture for all parties to review the final design in detail, determine production schedules/milestones and confirm expectations. In our experience, open and collaborative communication practices established at the outset of a project are the best way to help mitigate any confusion or misunderstanding.

Site challenges are one of the more common aspects that can affect a sound barrier wall project. These can range from unexpected underground utilities or obstructions to local regulatory restrictions. Our team is able to draw on many years of experience to help overcome these challenges and also has a number of resources to share with project partners, such as Product Specifications, Technical Drawings  and an Installation Video.

Once manufacturing is underway, we work very closely with our project partners to ensure delivery and installation goes as smoothly as possible. Many times, this happens via phone calls and video calls. If space is limited on larger project sites, our materials are often delivered on a staggered basis.

Although our sound barrier wall systems are very easy to install with local teams and light equipment, one of our Technical Sales Representatives is usually on-site as installation begins (or as needed) to help troubleshoot any issues and ensure all goes according to plan.

It is also our practice to check back with our project partners once the project is completed to see if there are any issues and to collect any feedback.

Here are three examples of projects where open communication, collaboration and flexibility have played a big role:


AIL Sound Walls works with installation partner to retrofit MassDOT’s metal noise barrier wall

This was a very different project that our installation partner, Premier Fence, brought to us. As part of their maintenance contract with MassDOT, Premier was tasked with replacing a failing galvanized metal sound wall along I-190 at Route 12 in Worcester. Being very familiar with our system from several past projects, they recommended AIL Sound Walls.

We supplied panels-only to be inserted into existing sound barrier wall poles

On this project, the existing steel posts and foundations were in good shape, so Premier opted to keep them and reconfigure them to accept our PVC panels. This entailed painting the posts to match our panels and installing color-matched angles to secure our panels with stainless steel hardware. The new noise barrier wall used our Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) panels on the lower 4′ and Silent Protector (Absorptive) panels on the upper 8′.

Flexibility was important to success of highway noise barrier wall project

We feel this project is a testament to the flexibility of AIL Sound Walls — both the system itself and our collaborative approach to finding the right solutions for our project partners. We were happy to be a panels-only supplier for Premier Fence and offer assistance wherever we could to ensure MassDOT got the best possible solution and good value.

View Project Profile >


Seattle’s Sound Transit switches from metal to PVC noise barrier walls

AIL Sound Walls provided sound barrier wall solutions for Sound Transit’s 8.5-mile L200 Lynnwood Link Extension, part of the overall expansion to connect Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and surrounding communities.

Early collaboration with project partners drove the change 

This was a long-term value engineering pursuit that finally paid off for AIL Sound Walls. Sound Transit had an Acoustic Panel spec for years that only allowed for metal systems on a 4′ spacing. Together with our project partners, we presented to them several times over a two- to three-year period to prove the viability of our system that could save them time and money by opening up their stanchion spacing to 8′ with lighter-weight PVC panels that are easier to work with in the field. 

Project partners pleased with speed and versatility of PVC sound barrier walls

On this project, we contracted directly with the Kiewitt joint venture partners and their crews self-performed the installation according to our layout drawings. They loved the speed and flexibility of working with our PVC systems on an 8′ spacing versus their previous 4′ metal systems. We also worked with the Kiewitt team on Sound Transit’s L300 Lynwood  and F200 Federal Way Link Extension projects.

Collaborative approach was key to success of longer-term noise barrier wall project

Pre-design and weekly progress meetings with our project partners kept everyone on the same page. We broke out our submittals and manufacturing by individual bridge structure to match the construction schedule. As each structure was approved, we produced and delivered material to be stored on-site and installed when needed. Multiple site visits garnered very positive feedback from everyone involved in the project.

View Project Profile >


Texas highway sound barrier wall adapted to install over buried utility lines

The heavily traveled TX-183 corridor is a direct east/west route between Dallas-Fort Worth and their International Airport. The corridor also has vital utilities along the right-of-way, including those serving the airport. The proposed sound wall location would not allow for drilled shaft foundations, which are required for heavy precast concrete sound walls.

Lightweight PVC AIL Sound Walls needed for tight, shallow site

Southgate Mobility Partners, a joint venture created for the massive $847-million Midtown Express Project, needed a lightweight sound wall system that would be installed with a continuous shallow foundation.

AIL Sound Walls were recommended by joint venture partner, Kiewit, based on their similar project with us on the Houston MetroRail expansion. With sidewalks and private yards on either side, the foundation area’s width was also very limited. We provided foundation options with minimal impact to the utilities and adjacent property owners.

Grade changes, angles, gates, custom color panels and posts

This project really demonstrated the complete versatility of our lightweight PVC sound barrier wall system. The sound wall had several different sections with grade changes — it butted up against sidewalks, it angled around utility boxes and it included multiple gates. Plus, TxDOT and the local community had selected a unique color aesthetic for the 183 corridor and wanted a system to match. They worked with our design and manufacturing teams to develop an aesthetic scheme with the colors they were looking for and they requested a woodgrain texture. These design options were invaluable to TxDOT and the community.

View Project Profile >


Be confident with an AIL Sound Walls solution

We support you through all phases of your noise barrier wall project: engineering, manufacturing, project management and site assistance — so you know you have a turnkey solution you can count on.

  • Designs based on wind loading and local soil conditions
  • Detailed proposals complete with installation budget estimates
  • Engineer-stamped project drawings for approvals and construction
  • Professional support in engineering, project management and site assistance

A North American network

With our network of sales teams, engineering offices and manufacturing facilities, AIL Sound Walls is a proven project partner — ready to help you through every stage of your next infrastructure project. Our turnkey sound barrier solutions include: engineering, manufacturing, project management and site assistance.

An AIL Sound Walls Representative can help you save

There’s an AIL Sound Walls specialist ready to help you value engineer a better solution for your sound-mitigation project. Call toll-free 1-866-231-7867 to get started.

Our commitment to sustainable noise barrier wall solutions

The AIL Group has identified environmental stewardship and commitment to sustainability as part of our strategic plan and our vision for the future. As we have in the past, we will continue to actively examine strategies to advance that vision and our commitment to leadership for our industry.

Please review our Sustainability Policy >>


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