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LAGUNA NIGUEL : Strategy to Reduce Traffic Noise Devised

The City Council approved a strategy this week to reduce traffic noise on Street of the Golden Lantern once the busy thoroughfare is widened by two lanes.

Council members agreed to install double-pane glass on affected homes along the street rather than adopt the traditional solution of building 12-foot-high sound walls.

The council also decided to delay the road widening, which would affect about 100 homes, until the Orange County Transportation Authority begins issuing street-improvement grants in late 1996.

Initially, council members wanted to move quickly on the project, even if the city had to pay for it.

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“I have a very great concern over how long this is all taking,” Mayor Mark Goodman said. “How long can you ask people to bear” road construction and traffic noise?

However, City Manager Tim Casey said the city couldn’t afford to pay $2 million for the work this year and persuaded the council to wait and apply for the transportation grants that will be handed out late next year.

Casey said the road widening would require several months of planning before the first piece of heavy equipment was brought out.

“So with all we have to go through, we’d pretty well be approaching [the time OCTA passes out grants] anyhow,” Goodman said.

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The council also considered fronting the $700,000 cost for the sound-buffering program. But Casey quashed that idea, saying OCTA wouldn’t award a grant for work that was already paid for and completed.

The council approved working with the OCTA on a program that would allow residents along Golden Lantern to pay for the sound buffers now and be reimbursed when the widening project starts.


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