You've no doubt seen them while driving in the Twin Cites metro area - those noise barrier walls that envelope the freeway, protecting the surrounding neighborhoods from the sound that emanates from the heavy traffic.  Now those same noise barriers could start to show up in communities throughout the state of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has created a new agency - the Greater Minnesota Stand-Alone Noise Barrier Program - and, they're supplying the necessary funds to back it up.  $700,000 will be awarded to eligible cities for constructing their own noise barrier projects.

Cities can apply for the grant money prior to May 9.  MNDOT officials will select the communities that will receive the funding at some point in June.  The first of these projects is expected to get underway in July 2017.

The noise barrier system used by the state was initiated in the 1970's in response to increasing noise pollution.  Since that time, the Twin Cities metro has seen a substantial number of these barriers and walls built - predominantly along the interstate and major highway system.  In 2013 the Office of the Legislative Auditor recommended that MNDOT carry this program into the greater state - which gave origin to the funding initiative.


More From KOOL 101.7