GeluidVangrail wins innovation award

The Dutch provinces of North and South Holland, together with the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RvO), called on entrepreneurs to develop new, innovative noise-reduction measures for noise nuisance along provincial roads. From the twenty entries, four finalists were selected and the winner was announced at the Innovation Meeting Noise ReductionPlus in Haarlem, the Netherlands, on 19 January. GeluidVangrail, a joint development by Merford and Movares, won and will soon be put into practice and tested by the provinces.

The Dutch provinces of North and South Holland have many similar roads with high traffic intensity and therefore also noise nuisance. The road administrators still lack (additional) measures to realize small noise reductions at relatively low costs. It is also often difficult to reduce noise at locations such as intersections and places where buildings are located close to the road. Because both provinces are convinced that practical tests are very important for innovation, they have joined forces. Together with the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RvO), they looked for smart innovations to reduce noise nuisance along provincial roads, specifically for locations where existing solutions such as quiet asphalt and noise barriers are not possible or desirable.

Simple and cost-efficient

The innovative GeluidVangrail, a joint entry by Merford and Movares, was praised by the jury for its simplicity, limited size and high cost efficiency. The innovation consists of a steel screen that is mounted under the crash barrier and can be mounted on existing crash barriers. The screen reflects sound at an angle of 45 degrees downwards where it is absorbed into the verge. According to the first tests, this results in a drop of up to five decibels. This is comparable to a sound screen of 1.5 meters high. However, this solution is many times more economical and does not obstruct the view of local residents. The GeluidVangrail also fits in without changes to the zoning plan and falls within the scope of current legislation. The Dutch province of North Holland will probably test the GeluidVangrail along the N208 near Haarlem.