Acoustic barriers for neighbourhood noise mitigation

At Sammut & Associates we are proud to have had the opportunity to work with Transport Malta in the Kappara Junction project, and to have designed acoustic barriers in what was the first ever installation of such a system for Malta.

Our brief was to design a complete acoustic barrier system that would mitigate the impact of noise generated by the passage of vehicles over the Kappara Junction Bridge on neighbouring residents, on the basis of the findings of a study of baseline and future forecasted noise levels.

As expected, one of the biggest challenges was to arrive at a compromise height for the barriers, achieving a balance between effective noise reduction and aesthetic quality, something we did by utilising lightweight and translucent barrier materials in order to reduce their visual impact and using intermediate barriers to screen the noise of the northbound carriageway from that of the southbound carriageway.

This project did not only meet the most pressing needs of the national transport agency. Many of the design features – material transmissivity of light, bird deterrent markings, cleanability, method of fracture in case of impact, resistance to impact by gravel flung at high speeds, and method of replacement of damaged barrier sections – constituted essential benefits in themselves, giving the project owner control over the feasibility, user safety, and the durability of the project, as well as additional guarantees of overall sustainability.