NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodDe Pere


'Noise coming off the highway is really bad': Neighbors in favor of I-41 noise barriers

Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 23:31:09-04

TOWN OF LAWRENCE (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said Tuesday a majority of people who live near proposed noise barriers on I-41 are in favor of their construction.

  • The first of three public informational meetings about the I-41 improvements from De Pere to Appleton was held Tuesday
    • The other two meetings are Wednesday at Hemlock Creek Elementary in De Pere at 5 p.m., and Thursday at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton at 5 p.m.
  • WISDOT also said the first phases of construction will begin in April — earlier than the initial plan of July
  • NBC 26 spoke with neighbors near one of the proposed sound barriers about why they are in favor of it
  • There are nine proposed sound barriers from De Pere to Appleton — only in places WISDOT deemed reasonable and feasible

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

We're in the town of Lawrence — where, as you might be able to hear, it's a little loud.

Standing here this close to the highway, the noise measures around 80 decibels.

That's why this is one of nine spots that could get a noise barrier during the I-41 expansion.

Jerry Shemoncofsky — and his dog Maxine — live a stone's throw from I-41.

"I'm the closest one to the highway," Shemoncofsky said.

He's in favor of a noise barrier in his neighborhood.

"When you get a north-, northwest, southwest winds, oh yeah, the noise coming off the highway is really bad," Shemoncofsky said. "I can't even talk to my wife in the backyard without yelling."

WISDOT says a majority of people near the proposed sound barriers — from De Pere to Appleton — have voted in favor of building them.

The woman who lives here, just feet from the highway, tells me off-camera that the pros of the noise reduction outweigh the cons of losing her sunset views.

Jerry is in the same boat.

"It'll be better than having the noise all the time," Shemoncofsky said.

Except one thing.

"Except you won't be able to watch the Packer traffic slow down to a crawl," Shemoncofsky said.

Jerry's concerns about the project come from a potential staging area near his street.

"All the dump trucks and whatever they use, so that's going to be a pain in the butt," Shemoncofsky said.

But generally, he thinks the road expansion is overdue.

"So, as a driver though, [is it a] good thing to have three lanes in each direction instead of two?" we asked.

"Yes. It'll cut down the accidents, hopefully," Shemoncofsky said.

On Tuesday evening, WISDOT said that construction on the project will begin in April.

If you missed the virtual public meeting on Tuesday, you can catch one in person on Wednesday at Hemlock Creek Elementary in De Pere, or Thursday at Fox Valley Tech. Both meetings start at 5 p.m.