(A) Whenever any proposed project of the department of transportation includes the construction of a sound barrier, the director of transportation shall notify the appropriate local legislative authority of the proposed construction. The director shall conduct at least one public hearing on the proposed sound barrier in the county in which it is to be located. Once a week for two successive weeks, the director shall publish notice of all hearings on the proposed sound barrier in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county in which the proposed sound barrier is to be located. The notice shall state the time and place of all hearings. The director or his designee and at least one representative of the appropriate local legislative authority shall attend and hear any discussion on the matter. At the hearings, the director or the director's designee shall present the design options available for the proposed sound barrier, including, when physically feasible, at least one design consisting of natural barriers such as trees, shrubs, mounds, and other similar elements.
(B) Upon the completion of all hearings, the director shall notify the appropriate local legislative authority in writing of the available design options for the sound barrier. Within thirty days after the date on the notice, the local legislative authority shall make a determination of the preferred option, giving foremost consideration to the views of the impacted residents as expressed at the hearings conducted by the department or otherwise communicated to the legislative authority, and shall notify the director in writing of its decision. The department shall construct the sound barrier in accordance with the determination of the local authority.
(C) As used in this section:
(1) "Appropriate local legislative authority" means the board of county commissioners or the legislative authority of a municipal corporation within whose jurisdiction the majority of impacted residents are located.
(2) "Impacted residents" means those persons residing in the immediate area of the proposed location of the sound barrier.
Effective Date: 06-30-1995 .