OAKLAND -- A second meeting to educate the public about adding sound walls to the freeway in Rockridge will be held Jan. 17.

The sound wall process is just getting under way, with the city planning a study to find out if the walls are needed at all along the busy stretch of Highway 24.

"I definitely think people who have opinions on whether we should have sound walls or not would benefit from coming to the meeting," said Victoria Eisen, a consultant for the city.

The meeting comes at the start of a one-year period during which certain properties close to the highway will have a chance to sign a petition for whether the city should release funding for the studies.

The sections under discussion are eastbound between Vicente Way and Broadway Avenue and westbound between Ross Street and Telegraph Avenue.

A preliminary look done in 2009 by Wilson, Ihrig and Associates, an Oakland-based acoustical consulting firm, found these areas that might be eligible for sound walls. But a new study for each area is a necessary first step before Oakland can apply for funding to build the walls.

"They're the next step," Eisen said.

The city will pay for the study with money it received from the state as part of a settlement over the construction of another tunnel for Highway 24, known as the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore. The agreement provided $8 million for neighborhood projects, including sound wall studies.


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The money won't cover construction -- which comes from Caltrans, the state agency responsible for planning, building and maintaining highways, bridges and rail lines -- and is administered by to the Alameda County Transit Commission.

A total of 135 properties have been identified that will be affected by the sound walls enough to get a five-decibel sound reduction. Two thirds of them will have to sign the petition in order for the city to go ahead with the study.

At the meeting, which is sponsored by the Rockridge Community Planning Council, Eisen will be joined by Wladimir Wlassowsky, the transportation services division manager at the city's public works agency.

"We're just going over why there is potential funding for sound wall studies," Eisen said.

The sound wall presentation will be followed by a talk on the city's past by Oakland Tribune history columnist Annalee Allen and Beth Bagwell, author of "Oakland: The Story of a City."

IF YOU GO
What: Second meeting to educate the public about adding sound walls to Highway 24
Where: Rockridge Branch Library, 5366 College Ave.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday