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'You can't go outside': Noise pollution from I-95, Turnpike overwhelming Palm Beach County neighborhood

Residents try to get the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to build sound wall for more than 20 years
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 05, 2024

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Twenty years: that's how long residents of the Palm Beach Country Estates in Palm Beach Gardens said they've had to deal with noise pollution from Florida's Turnpike and Interstate 95.

"I am the second house from the Turnpike," resident Greta Foriere said.

Foriere said living near the Turnpike is like being tortured 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"You can't go outside. You just can't come home and relax, that's for sure. We're the only area in the only part of the state where the two highways are side by side," she said.

Greta Foriere speaks to WPTV reporter Todd Wilson about the noise impacting her and her neighbors.
Greta Foriere speaks to WPTV reporter Todd Wilson about the noise impacting her and her neighbors.

She said her neighborhood has been trying to get the Florida Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) to build a sound wall for more than 20 years, but it hasn't happened. She said it's strange considering there's a sound barrier wall right across the road.

Through her own tests, Foriere said the federal requirements for sound walls are 67 decibels. She said in her backyard they start at 70 decibels and go up as high as 146 or more.
     
Gary Johnson lives down the road from Foriere. He said he wouldn't have bought his home if he had known about the noise.

Greta Foriere says the noise level outside her home averages about 68 decibels.
Greta Foriere says the noise level outside her home averages about 68 decibels.

"In retrospect, I wouldn't do this again," Johnson said. "Would I move away from here because of it? The answer is yes."

Foriere said she has concerns for kids who plan to attend a new school down the road which is right next to the Turnpike. She believes things are going to get worse before they get better considering the FTE plans to expand the Turnpike. Foriere hopes the FTE builds the sound wall before the new expansion.

WPTV contacted Florida Turnpike Enterprise. They said they would send us a written statement in response to this story, but we have yet to receive it.