Precast concrete sound walls are well-known for their ability to mitigate roadway noise in the busiest of environments. But many don’t realize that precast sound walls also have incredible aesthetic versatility and can be designed to match surrounding architecture or to highlight local communities. Such was the case in Richland County, Ohio, where a 3,500-foot precast concrete sound wall, installed earlier this year along Interstate 71, promotes area attractions and history via a unique design.
Mack Industries Inc., headquartered in Valley City, Ohio, manufactured the sound wall. The company’s Valley City location produced the posts, while Mack Industries of Pennsylvania in Vienna, Ohio, produced the panels. Insets include a checkered flag and a carousel horse, which represent the area’s racing background and the city of Mansfield’s Carrousel District, respectively.
According to Betsy Mack Nespeca, president of Mack Industries, local residents were involved in selecting the insets for the panels.
“Communities always enjoy having a voice, and I think the department of transportation was wise to include them in the decision,” she said. “It helps build pride and cooperation for a project like this.”
By incorporating the insets, Mack Industries transformed the sound wall from a structure built solely for function into something with additional meaning. The result is a visually pleasing wall that does much more than just reduce the additional noise caused by the recent expansion of I-71.