The paper examines the methodologies and evaluation criteria advocated by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Rail Administration (FRA) used to determine whether or not a proposed alignment for a transportation project adversely impacts affected land uses, such as research & development and high-technology manufacturing. The criteria in question are applied as limits on vibration and noise at sensitive receiver locations. Both short-term construction and long-term transportation operations are typically considered, with the latter being the focus of this paper. A case study is presented of a proposed transit system that passes through four different soil zones, the operational characteristics that are required to generate a vibration level equal to the FTA/FRA advocated level of 65 VdB re: 1 micro-inch/sec, and the range of variability of the acceptability of the vibration conditions when considered in terms of third-octave bands compared to vibration criterion (VC) curves that are used as the design performance targets of vibration-sensitive facilities.
T. Busch, M. Gendreau, and H. Amick, “Vibration and noise criteria used to evaluate environmental impacts of transportation projects on sensitive facilities,” Proceedings of SPIE Conference 5933: Buildings for Nanoscale Research and Beyond, San Diego, CA, 31 Jul 2005 to 1 Aug 20050ba43ddee8c9982d1c80cc8410f5b8e6