California Department of Transportation

Noise and Vibration Studies Links

Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA) LINKS

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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 9:09 AM

Noise and Vibration Studies

Caltrans Technical Noise Supplement to the Traffic Noise Analysis Protocol

This manual contains Caltrans noise analysis procedures, practices, and other useful technical background information related to the analysis and reporting of highway and construction noise impacts and abatement. It supplements and expands on concepts and procedures referred to in the Traffic Noise Analysis Protocol, which in turn is required by federal regulations in 23CFR772. The contents of this document are not official policy, standard, or regulation, and are for informational purposes—unless they are referenced in the Protocol. Except for some Caltrans-specific methods and procedures, most methods and procedures recommended in this document are in conformance with industry standards and practices. This document can be used as a stand-alone guide for highway noise training purposes or as a reference for technical concepts, methodology, and terminology needed to acquire a basic understanding of highway noise and construction noise-related issues.

Caltrans Vibration Guidance Manual

This manual provides practical guidance to engineers, planners, and consultants who must address vibration issues associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of Caltrans projects.

The Caltrans Sound Wall Inventory

Is available for viewing at the Statewide Soundwall Inventory web page. This sound wall inventory is prepared for information collection purposes for the FHWA as required by federal code in 23 CFR 772.

Caltrans Traffic Noise Analysis Protocol (Protocol) - May 2011

FHWA approved California DOT noise policy (Protocol) pdf icon (1.03MB) for new or reconstruction highway projects. This Protocol became effective on July 13, 2011 for all Federal Aid projects. This version of the Protocol was initiated under the revised Title 23, Part 772 Federal Code which became effective July 13th, 2010. This Protocol contains new provisions, updates and clarifications over the older 2006 Protocol.

Reasonableness Allowance - Construction Cost

Cost considerations for determining noise abatement reasonableness are based on an allowance per benefitted receptor. This reasonable allowance maybe adjusted based on the most recent annual Construction Price Index. The annual price index for the fourth quarter of any year is usually posted by February of the following year. The following reasonableness allowances apply:

  • The base cost allowance for any 2016 reasonable/feasible analysis should use $80,000.
  • The base cost allowance for any 2015 reasonable/feasible analysis should use $71,000.
  • The base cost allowance for any 2014 reasonable/feasible analysis should use $64,000.
  • The base cost allowance for any 2013 reasonable/feasible analysis should use $55,000.
  • The base cost allowance for any 2012 reasonable/feasible analysis should use $55,000.


Noise and Vibration Technical Advisories have been posted at the publications web page.

The following publications pertaining to acoustical and vibration issues are available for downloading:

More publications can be viewed here.

Training Resources

The Division of Environmental Analysis has two on-demand noise training modules for use by the public. These on-demand training courses cover highway traffic noise fundamentals and TNM basics.


  • - lead contact for noise, vibration, and bioacoustic questions.
  • - secondary contact for noise, vibration, and bioacoustic questions.

For questions regarding the Noise and Vibration web page, contact the webmaster.