Residents Grumble About The Rumble

By KBJR News 1

August 25, 2010 Updated Aug 25, 2010 at 4:28 PM CDT

Vibrations and noise given off by these strips are designed to alert drivers when they're veering off the road, but a growing number of residents feel the noisy strips are more of a nuisance that a help.

It's a new and unfamiliar noise has been added to commutes in the northland.

Robert Klang has lived in rural Gilbert for more than 40 years and says the noise from the new rumble strips can be heard for up to half a mile away.

"Yeah, I mean you hear people hit them all the time...its unreal," said Klang.

Up north residents near Embarrass say they feel like their privacy has been invaded by the noise from the strips.

"It's very noticeable when you are in the house, you can't have the windows open at night or anytime during the day because it's too noisy. You can hear it for half a mile or three quarters of a mile away," said Reva Tyssedal of Embarrass.

In 2009 St Louis County was awarded two grants through the Highway Improvement Safety Program to install edge line rumble strips on various county highways throughout St Louis County.

Victor Lund is a traffic engineer with St Louis County and he says the roads were chosen based on the speed of motorists and residential development along the roads.

"They were placed there because that is where these crashes, which are run off the Road crashes that we are concerned about happen," said Lund.

6th district County Commissioner Keith Nelson says while his office has received numerous complaints about the rumble strips, he says the safety benefits outweigh the noise complaints.

He believes as drivers become accustomed to the rumble strips, they'll learn to avoid them, diminishing the noise.

"I think as drivers become more attentive and adjust to those conditions, I really think it's going to get significantly better as we move on," said Commissioner Nelson.

The new rumble strips are placed directly over the fog lines on the roads in an effort to make the lines more noticeable for drivers in rough weather.