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What is the status of a possible sound barrier wall along the freeway between Wauwatosa West and Whitman Middle School?

Issue:That question was on the mind of a reader who has seen other sound barrier walls up at various points along our freeway system.

Status:Wauwatosa School District Spuperintendent Phil Ertl said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation agreed to build a combination of screening wall and berm near the Center Street bridge that would help shield the high school on the west side of the freeway and the middle school on the east side. He said he was not aware of a timetable for that work.

In late March, DOT spokesman Michael Pyritz also said he was not certain of the work schedule.

The screening and berm is not the same as a sound-proof concrete barrier seen along other areas of the freeway.

'The area north of Center Street does not have the required (residential) density,' Pyritz said. 'There is a formula that is used to identify an area that would have 24-hour residents who would be impacted by noise.'

'Even if an area qualifies based on density and noise levels,' Pyritz said, 'the DOT follows the wishes of a majority of residential owners who would be contacted by the agency. The DOT erects the barriers as part of its freeway construction costs.'

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