Road works and construction sites represent typical noise sources within the urban framework. Most road works are carried out by municipal companies for asphalt and road pavement construction or repairing interventions as well as by utility companies (e.g., gas, electricity, water, telephone, cable services).
Construction works also add inevitable noise contributions to the overall loudness of the urban environment, especially due to their relevant duration in time and the heterogeneity of possible interventions. Citizens can experience noise in different situations: construction of new buildings, renovation of existing buildings, demolition of buildings, installation and/or repairing of utilities.
The noise generated in road and construction sites comes from the superposition of multiple components: machinery and vehicle movements (e.g., cranes, bulldozers, excavators, loaders, bobcats, concrete mixer trucks, etc.), power tools (generators), workers’ equipment (e.g., masonry saws, jackhammers, portable concrete mixers, etc.) and material delivery are the most relevant sources.
Since road and construction works are inevitably noisy, city administrations usually impose specific restrictions on the hours of operations, so that such works cannot normally occurs on Sundays, public holidays, on working days during a specific time interval (7 p.m. – 7 a.m.), provided that special or undelayable interventions are needed.
A series of precautions must be taken whenever it is possible in order to relieve citizenship of noise annoyance, such as: avoiding vehicle movements too close to residential areas; shutting or throttling down machineries and equipment whenever they are not actually in use; adopting noise reduction devices (e.g., mufflers); locating some working or preparatory activities off-site; using semi-permanent structures for noise abatement (e.g., elevations, barriers).
As a reference, we can consider the following SPL average values at 15m from the observer: