Berms. The developer is building a formal 10-acre park for Rayzor Ranch Town Center. The berms are designed to ameliorate traffic noise from Interstate 35 and the surrounding area. The mounds of earth will be landscaped with drought-tolerant native plants and flowers.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, a berm can attenuate up to 15 A-weighted decibels of noise. (Traffic noise ranges from 70 to 80 dBA at 50 feet from the highway.) Unlike walls, where noise can bounce around and eventually sound louder on the opposite side, berms deflect the sound upward.
Once the park is finished, it will be dedicated to the city. Berms cost approximately $1,000 per acre to maintain, since crews must work not only to maintain the landscaping but also maintain proper drainage and prevent erosion.