With so many cars on the roads, it is without a doubt that noise pollution is one of the greatest factors that should be addressed in exchange for silence.
This kind of pollution contributes a large share in developed and developing countries, though it is a multi-faceted one which warrants an approach beyond what the road agency, SANRAL, can offer.
But road noises, however, do not only come from the road surface, but tyre types, roadway geometrics, speed and vehicles all contribute. Roads with rough surfaces are noisiest, while asphalt is quieter and smoother by comparison.
SANRAL undertook an investigation into seal types that could potentially reduce noise, with the intention to use the resulting information to lay down guidelines for selecting the type of seal that ought to be used in built-up areas.
The tests were carried out on two sections of road in Cape Town. The first section; four types of seals were selected and the second set of tests were carried out on existing roads with different surfaces.
It was then found that there is no standard surfacing that can result by itself in a noise level low enough to meet national and international guidelines. Additional measures would have to be taken on high-speed urban highways. Further tests to look for a standard paved surface would have to be taken.
Vusi Mona, the agency’s communications manager, says they hope to have an answer soon but implementation will be a drawn out process, as a wholesale difference cannot be implemented overnight.
This confirms that SANRAL commits itself to building excellent roads and taking the communities around its highways into account.