IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier

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IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier

IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier

You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-12 which are based on IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier passage below :


Noise generated by traffic on arterial roads and freeways is an increasing problem in Australia and there is a growing concern among highways authorities in Australia about the limitations of some types of noise barriers that have been installed in this country.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) in Sydney faced a problem when it decided to proceed with the link between Concord Road at Rhodes and the F4 Freeway at Homebush(Country Road 5030) as the new arterial would deliver heavy traffic right past the backyards of suburban homes. This was because the RTA had purchased and removed a number of houses to allow the new corridor to be built, exposing to road traffic noises houses that were once located in a quiet back street.

Initially, the RTA had proposed to erect a new timber fence, replacing the existing suburban fences, to act as a noise barrier. Timber noise barriers were used quite extensively on the recently constructed F3 Freeway link from Pearce’s Comer to Berowra. However, RTA engineers have become more acutely aware of noise and the problems which arise if ineffective noise barriers are installed. They also appreciate the benefits of early consultations with the affected residents and local councils.

Residents of the area were fully briefed on the appearances, the performance, and the benefits of various types of noise barriers. The majority opted for the Fanwall barrier, which also provides security advantages to the householders.

The Fanwall barrier to be installed at Rhodes is the first to be erected in Australia Fanwall barriers have been used in the United States and have been very effective at noise attenuation with up to 10 dBA reduction in noise level reached L.A.International Airport. Similar success has been achieved in various highway projects right across the USA

In the USA, concrete has proved to be the most popular material for constructing noise barrier walls. As is happening in Australia, early barrier designs opted for low timber barriers selected largely on the basis of cost. However, low barriers are not effective and high timber barriers have become much more expensive.

Add to this the poor durability of timber fences and the combination of initial capital cost maintenance costs and replacement cost quickly makes timber barriers very expensive. The advantages of concrete include low capital cost and durability. Furthermore, concrete barriers can be engineered for a variety of site conditions and architectural finishes can be applied to enhance aesthetics. Careful landscaping provides the final touch.

Fanwall is a two-component, modular, free-standing pre-cast concrete noise barrier that can be cheaply and quickly erected on a variety of foundation conditions. The wall is engineered to be stable under design wind load conditions while maintaining relatively low bearing pressures on the foundation soils. Therefore, like the timber barriers, the Fanwall barrier can be built without expensive concrete footings or piles, speeding the construction time up and reducing costs. Furthermore, Fanwall is maintenance-free and it is not susceptible to damage by fire and vandalism.

Because the Fanwall barriers are engineered into a modular form, construction is easily staged. At Rhodes, the Fanwall noise barrier will be built in three stages commencing in mid-August Staging will enable further consultation with local residents and allow access to be maintained across the site via local roads. However, most importantly, the greater proportion of the barrier will be in place prior to the road corridor being constructed, reducing the effect of construction noise.

Fanwall Noise Barrier

IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier Questions 1 – 5

In paragraphs 2 to 4 of Reading Passage. Fanwall Noise Barrier, the writer describes a planning process, problems, and issues that arise, and the steps are taken to deal with them.

From the list of situations and possible actions below( A-I). Select the steps taken to deal with the problems and issues, as outlined in the reading passage.

Write the appropriate letter A-I) in boxes 1 to 5 on your answer sheet.

There are more situations and possible actions than questions. You may use a situation or possible action more than once if you wish.

Example                         Answer

Problem 1                       C

Question 1. Cause of problem 1

Question 2. proposed solution to problem 1

Question 3. Objection-potential problem 2

Question 4. Procedure

Question 5. Solution to problem 1

Situations and possible Actions

[A] RTA purchase of houses

[B] Concern about the effectiveness of some noise barriers

[C] Suburban houses to be exposed to heavy traffic noise

[D] Erect a Fanwall noise barrier

[E] Construction of a new freeway link

[F] Concern about the purchase of houses by the RTA

[G] Consult with local residents

[H] Erect a large timber noise barrier

[I] Change the route of the new freeway

IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier Questions 6-11

The author mentions a number of features of noise barriers. Some are listed below. Identify them by writing

[A] if the feature applies to low timber barriers

[B] if it applies to high timber barriers

[C] if it applies to concrete barriers.

Note, for some questions you will need to write more than one letter. Write your answers in boxes 6 to 11 on your answer sheet.

Example                                                         Answer

They need to be replaced regularly               A,B

Question 6. They are more popular in the USA

Question 7. They are susceptible to damage by fire and vandalism

Question 8. They are not always effective noise barriers

Question 9. They are much more expensive to build

Question 10. They do not require expensive foundations

Question 11. They are more expensive to maintain

Choose from the four options below the best description for Figure 1 in the reading passage. While the appropriate letter. (A, B, C, D) inbox 12 on your answer sheet.

[A] Selection of barrier location

[B] Noise-path principles

[C] Barrier specifications

[D] Attenuation of traffic noise

IELTS Data Reading Passage 133 – Fanwall Noise Barrier Answers

(1) E

(2) H

(3) B

(4) G

(5) D

(6) C

(7) A,B

(8) A

(9) B

(10) A,B,C

(11) A, B

(12) B

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