Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Hons.)


Department of Civil and Mining Engineering


This thesis is related to the exercise of finding more feasible solutions to the intolerable rate of worsening environmental impact caused by road traffic noise. Due to heavy traffic flowing on urban roads, the environmental pollution caused by traffic had become a concern, and the increasing noise levels caused by traffic also needs an urgent attention due to its effects over the general public and their physical and mental well being. Adverse effects caused by traffic noise are reviewed with respect to designing of more feasible solutions to the problem area. This review highlights community annoyance, health hazards, and the disturbance caused to the general public by the increasing traffic noise levels. Previous findings and the basis for research into further developed methods to mitigate the traffic noise also are emphasised. Solutions for th^ worsening traffic noise problem have been sought by application of four strategies, exploring the possibility to improve the; (a) motor vehicle technology; (b) noise barrier technology; (3) road construction technology; and the (4) kx:al area traffic management. Due to limited period of one year available to complete the study, this thesis paid its prime attention to the development of motor vehicle technology and noise barrier technologies only. The importance of the other two strategies is also pointed out. Number of surveys and tests related to road traffic noise were conducted, and some more relevant data has been accessed though the local authorities. Assessment of the previous research carried out by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) of the United states of America, and some other researchers are also carried out. Some modifications also were suggested in the areas such as the noise reduction methods for vehicle engines, exhaust systems, tyres, body work and suspension, use of thick tree shrubs as natural and economical noise barriers, and the use of clay bricks as more successful noise absorption type building material etc. A new traffic noise prediction model was developed by the author as a result of this research, to suit with the Australian traffic Etnvironment as presented in this thesis. Some fruitful proposals also were presented to be succssfully used as devices and methods, in an economically beneficial, and environmentally friendly way to mitigate the traffic noise.