Brooklyn Bridge Park Adds 30-Foot Hill to Block BQE Noise

By Janet Upadhye on November 15, 2013 10:31am 

 The sound-attenuating hill is designed to "reduce noise levels from 75 decibels (equivalent to standing beside a lawnmower) to 68 decibels."
The sound-attenuating hill is designed to "reduce noise levels from 75 decibels (equivalent to standing beside a lawnmower) to 68 decibels."
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MVVA, Inc.

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Brooklyn Bridge Park-goers are enjoying some new peace and quiet thanks to the addition of the park's first "sound-attenuating" hill, officials announced.

The nearly 30-foot-high hill at Piers 3 and 4 near Clark Street — called a berm — was designed to block noise from the nearby Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, said park spokeswoman Maureen Lynch.

"It really does help," Lynch said. "It has significantly reduced the sound of the cars zooming by."

Construction of the berm — made from more than 50,000 cubic yards of clean, crushed stone excavated as part of the MTA’s East Side Access project — began in January. It will eventually run along the length of Furman Street from Pier 5 at Joralemon Street up to Pier 2, Lynch said.

The berm has reduced noise levels from 75 decibels to 68 decibels, Lynch said. The park's website explains that 75 decibels sounds like "standing beside a lawnmower," while 68 decibels is quiet enough to allow people to have a conversation without raising their voices.

In addition to unveiling the noise-blocking hill, officials are opening new park space along the water by Piers 3 and 4, between Pineapple Street and Pierrepont Street. Totaling more than six acres of new parkland, the uplands consist of a "granite terrace" where park-goers can sit and enjoy Lower Manhattan views, expansive lawns and a greenway that connects the entire length of the park.

To celebrate the opening, a 25-piece brass marching band — The Hungry March Band — will perform along the park’s greenway Nov. 16, with festivities starting at 10 a.m.

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