Residents that live on the Fourth Ring Road in Beijing will no longer be harassed by traffic noise especially at night as sound insulating windows and a 22,000-square-metre sound-proof protective screen will be installed by the end of this year.
The noise that affects nearly 60,000 residents will be cut by 30 decibels through the use of sound-proof equipment, according to Zhou Zhengyu, chief economist at the Beijing Highway Connection Line Co.
Zhou's company is the builder of the Fourth Ring Road, which was opened to traffic in June last year.
With an investment of over 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) from the Beijing municipal government, the project has already started.
Residential buildings, not including office buildings, in most sections will be installed with sound insulating windows while the Beidadi and Jingouhe overpasses will be curtained off by a sound-proof screen, according to Zhou.
The project will benefit people living in the residential buildings 50 meters from the Fourth Ring Road, Zhou said.
The average figures on noise at the nine major sections of the road all exceeded the national standard, according to Dong Jinhu, an official with the pollution control department of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection, who declined to release concrete figures.
Bidding for the production and installation of the special windows has been completed and six Beijing-based companies will be responsible for the project, according to Zhou.
The special windows are of a better quality and look similar to ordinary ones.
Thanks to efforts by 27 delegates of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, the first batch of sound insulating windows were installed in dormitory buildings at the Beijing University of Science and Technology in April.
"I have slept soundly in the evenings since then," said Xu Jingquan, a student of the university.
Residential buildings are not permitted to be built along the main streets anymore, according to a document issued by the Beijing municipal government.
Environmental evaluation measures have been adopted in the construction of the Fifth Ring Road and the urban railway, according to Zhou. Thus traffic noise will no longer be a headache for Beijing residents.
When the Fifth Ring Road opens to traffic in the future, vehicle flow will be farther from downtown areas.
(China Daily August 29, 2002)