Erich Thalheimer, BSME, INCE Bd. Cert., Acoustical Engineer

Mr. Thalheimer has performed dozens of highway noise projects in states including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, California and Texas.  His work is primarily related to performing Environmental Impact Studies/Reports (EIS/EIR) for State DOT's, but he also supports roadway private developments as well.  Mr. Thalheimer is fully equipped to perform highway noise and mitigation (i.e. highway noise barriers) analyses with a complete array of noise monitoring instrumentation, and is a certified user of the requisite traffic noise prediction models (i.e. FHWA's Traffic Noise Model).

Some of the more notable highway noise projects that Mr. Thalheimer has been involved with include the following:


  • PNSY Bridge No. 1 Noise Assessment; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME (2015) - Performed an assessment of potential traffic noise benefits/consequences for a series of proposed design changes to Bridge No. 1 accessing the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Used the Cadna-A model to predict bridge traffic noise levels at nearby receptors in Kittery anticipated with changing the bridge deck from open-grated to solid concrete with the addition of clear Plexiglas wind barriers along the sidewalks• PNSY Bridge No. 1 Noise Assessment; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME (2015) - Performed an assessment of potential traffic noise benefits/consequences for a series of proposed design changes to Bridge No. 1 accessing the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Used the Cadna-A model to predict bridge traffic noise levels at nearby receptors in Kittery anticipated with changing the bridge deck from open-grated to solid concrete with the addition of clear Plexiglas wind barriers along the sidewalks.
  • New Hampshire I-93 Widening Project Noise Barriers, New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), Derry to Manchester, NH (2013) - Provided final design and review services for five highway noise barriers that had been approved as part of the NH I-93 Widening project. Confirmed each barrier's Cost Effectiveness Index after taking in to account any new developments since the time the projects EIS had been approved. Provided guidance on noise barrier design and performance implications for a newly proposed Exit 4A Interchange.
  • Page-Olive Connector Project, Missouri Department of Transportation, St. Louis, MO (2012) - Provided expert opinion for St. Louis County for noise matters for a new 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) connector project. Oversaw a team who performed retroactive ambient noise monitoring and traffic volume counts in order to complete an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by others. The most important task was to calibrate the project’s TNM models, which had been developed by others, with actual field measurement noise and traffic data. Also performed validation and expansion of the project’s TNM model files by inserted additional ramps, and critical reviewed noise barriers designs proposed by the design-build contractor. Later provided expert witness testimony and critically reviewed opposition’s acoustical report when the project was challenged in court by members of the Terra Vista community.
  • Whittier Bridge Replacement Project, Massachusetts Highway Department, Amesbury/Newburyport, MA (2009) – Performed entire EIS traffic noise component to replace the historic Whittier Bridge over the Merrimac River. Ambient noise levels were monitored at ten receptor locations adjacent to I-95 from Exits 57 to 60, and TNM models were developed to evaluate future traffic noise consequences and potential noise barrier mitigation measures for several project alternatives.  The noise analysis was done in accordance with 23 CFR 772 (FHWA NAC) and MassDOT's new 2011Traffic Noise Policy.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel Roadway Slab Vibration Study, Maryland Transportation Authority, Baltimore, MD, (2009) – Performed vibration measurements on the roadway slabs inside all four tunnel bores of the Fort McHenry Tunnel with live traffic traveling through the tunnel.  Performed spectral analysis of vibration acceleration, velocity and displacement levels and compared the results against relevant criteria to determine if the roadway slabs were being subjected to excessive vibration potentially exacerbating their deterioration (cracking, spalling).  The study concluded that traffic-induced vibration levels were not a concern for damaging the 16-inch thick concrete roadway slabs. 
  • Connecticut I-95 Long Wharf EA, Connecticut DOT, New Haven, CT (2006) – Prepared the traffic noise section of the Environmental Assessment evaluating three proposed alternatives including an expansion of I-95 and a Ring Road through New Haven.  Existing noise levels and traffic counts were measured at 17 receptor locations, and existing and future traffic noise levels were predicted at over 100 receptor locations using the FHWA TNM model.  Two noise barriers were found to be warranted for further consideration in accordance with ConnDOT’s cost-effectiveness policy.  Additional analysis was performed to evaluate noise impacts to parks within the study area. 
  • NH Route 1 Bypass EA, New Hampshire DOT, Portsmouth, NH  (2006)– In support of the Route 1 Bypass EA, a study was conducted to assess the potential traffic noise consequences for residences and institutional land-uses along a 2½ mile section of Route 1 near the Portsmouth rotary.  Existing noise conditions were measured at ten receptor locations using LD720 noise monitors, and evaluated against both FHWA and NHDOT traffic noise criteria.  Existing, future no-build and future build traffic noise levels were predicted using the TNM model for over 400 receptors, and candidate traffic noise mitigation measures consisting of three traffic noise barriers were evaluated using NHDOT’s cost-effectiveness index procedures.  The results of the study were presented to NHDOT officials, the Citizens Advisory Committee, and at several public meetings.
  • Rhode Island Rt 6 / Rt 10 Intersection EIS, Crossman Engineering, Providence, RI (2004) - A noise study was conducted as part of the EIS process to assess potential traffic noise and construction noise impacts for renovating and expanding the Rt 6 / Rt 10 Interchange in Providence, RI.  Existing noise levels were measured at six receptors in the project area, and more than 400 receptors were evaluated for potential traffic noise impacts against FHWA and RIDOT criteria using the TNM model for the existing, future no-build and future build cases.  Eventually six traffic noise barriers, ranging in heights from 15 to 25 feet tall, were found to be warranted based on RIDOT’s cost-effectiveness index procedures.
  • Elimination of Broad Street Extension Notice of Project Change, Central Artery/Tunnel Project, Boston, MA (2004) - A traffic noise study was conducted as part of the NPC process required for filing through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.  Fourteen receptors in downtown Boston were evaluated for potential traffic noise impacts due to the elimination of the Broad Street Extension and the merging of Parcels 17A and 17B.  Traffic noise levels for the design year 2010 were predicted using the FHWA-approved Traffic Noise Model (TNM) and evaluated against MHD and FHWA traffic noise criteria limits.  The results indicated that future noise levels were expected to decrease at all but two receptor locations, and that mitigation measures such as barriers for those two receptors would be impractical and unjustified.
  • Framingham Traffic Noise Barrier Re-evaluation, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Framingham, MA (2002) – In response to significant community outcry, a traffic noise barrier study was performed to reconsider erecting noise barriers along the Turnpike in the Town of Framingham.  Current traffic noise levels were measured at 25 receptor locations, and traffic noise conditions were modeled using the FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM).  Each candidate barriers’ Cost-Efficiency and Priority Indexes were computed.  The results were reconciled against the Turnpike’s pilot noise barrier prioritization study originally performed in 1992.  Where appropriate, new cost and performance guidelines were developed in order to justify recommendations on which noise barriers to pursue.  Ultimately one noise barrier was recommended for final design estimated to cost over $1 million.  Refinements to the barrier allowed for a shorter-height less expensive barrier to be designed within MTA’s budget.  The Westgate Road noise barrier was built in 2003.
  • US Postal Service Land Exchange ENF, Central Artery/Tunnel Project, Boston, MA (1999) - In response to concerns raised by residents at 249 A Street, traffic noise potential consequences associated with the reuse of parking lot areas by the US Postal Service were analyzed as part of an ENF submitted through the MEPA process.  Ambient noise readings were performed, and future year 2010 traffic noise conditions were predicted using the FHWA's traffic noise model TNM.  The study focused on those time periods when the parking lots would experience a shift change of USPS employees, and the results indicated that no traffic noise impacts were expected. 
  • US Postal Service Land Exchange ENF, Central Artery/Tunnel Project, Boston, MA (1999) - In response to concerns raised by residents at 249 A Street, traffic noise potential consequences associated with the reuse of parking lot areas by the US Postal Service were analyzed as part of an ENF submitted through the MEPA process.  Ambient noise readings were performed, and future year 2010 traffic noise conditions were predicted using the FHWA's traffic noise model TNM.  The study focused on those time periods when the parking lots would experience a shift change of USPS employees, and the results indicated that no traffic noise impacts were expected. 
  • Route 3 North Toll Alternative EIS, Fay Spoffard & Thorndike, Tyngsboro/Chelmsford/Billerica, MA  (1995) - The relative noise consequences associated with two MHD-proposed toll plazas across Route 3 North as part of a third lane scheme were evaluated with respect to diverting traffic.  Four interchanges were examined using the STAMINA highway noise model.  In addition, a proposed site of a service area was evaluated with ambient noise measurements and predictions to nearby receptors. KM Chng Environmental.
  • I-89/Route 12-A Renovations EIS, Fay Spoffard & Thorndike, Lebanon, NH  (1994)- Performed environmental impact assessment of proposed renovations and widening of I-89 and Route 12-A through Lebanon, NH.  Developed the STAMINA baseline models and validated with field measurements.  KM Chng Environmental.
  • Nashua Circumferential Bypass Environmental Impact Study, Nashua, NH (1991) - Advised and participated on noise EIS section assessing six proposed bypass highway alignments to the east of downtown Nashua on behalf of the NHDOT.  KM Chng Environmental. 
  • Clermont I-95 Interchange, Clermont, VA  (1990)- Performed the noise section of the Environmental Impact Study for the Virginia DOT.  Prepared and validated computer model, modeled baseline and future proposed noise levels at over 30 receptors, identified predicted noise impacts and recommended mitigation treatments (including noise barriers).  Louis Berger & Associates.
  • Route 6 Cape Cod Double Barreling, Cape Cod, MA  (1990)- Performed the noise section of the Environmental Impact Study for the Mass DPW.  Performed field measurements at over 20 receptors along 13 miles of Route 6, prepared and validated computer noise model, established baseline noise levels.  Louis Berger & Associates.
  • Presque Isle Route 1 Bypass, Presque Isle, ME  (1990)- Performed the noise section of the Environmental Assessment for the Maine DOT.  Performed field measurements at over 12 receptors surrounding Presque Isle, prepared and validated computer noise model, established baseline noise levels.  Louis Berger & Associates.
  • Las Vegas Southern Beltway, Las Vegas, NV  (1990)- Performed the noise section of the Environmental Impact Study for the Nevada DOT.  Prepared computer model for some 50 receptors and over 30 miles of a proposed new beltway highway, identified predicted noise impacts, recommended mitigation treatments (including noise barriers).  Louis Berger & Associates.
  • Alewife Brook Parkway / Route 2, Arlington, MA (1989) - Performed noise section of Environmental Impact Study for the Mass DPW.  Collected highway noise measurements at 15 receptors, modeled noise levels at over 30 receptors, established baseline and predicted future noise levels, identified noise impacts.  Bolt Beranek & Newman, Acentech.