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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

DNAInfo Chicago: Edison Park, Norwood Park Homes To Be Soundproofed With $20M Federal Grant

Sep 2, 2016
In the News

The following article was published on September 2, 2016. A link to the article can be found here.

By Heather Cherone

NORWOOD PARK — Hundreds of homes in Norwood Park and Edison Park directly under the path of flights to and from O’Hare Airport will be soundproofed with a $20 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, federal officials announced.

A cluster of homes east of Harlem Avenue and north of the Kennedy Expressway are next in line for free attic insulation, air conditioning, exterior doors, storm doors and windows designed to block the racket of planes departing and arriving at O'Hare Airport, said Owen Kilmer, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Aviation, which administers the program along with the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.

The grant will also be used to fund the final phase of the soundproofing effort, which will cover approximately 500 homes in the city and suburbs whose owners declined to participate in the program in previous years, Kilmer said.

U.S. Reps Mike Quigley, D-Chicago; Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston; and Tammy Duckworth, D-Schaumburg; as well as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, applauded the announcement of the new funds.

"I am pleased that the Federal Aviation Administration is taking steps to provide some relief to residents around O’Hare Airport by awarding new funds for residential sound proofing in the surrounding communities,” Quigley said in a statement.

Homes in Norwood Park and Edison Park have been among those hardest hit by jet noise caused by planes using new east-west runways at O'Hare Airport.

Many residents have complained to local, state and federal officials that the noise makes it impossible to sleep, spend time in their backyards, play in neighborhood parks or watch television.

All of the homes set to be soundproofed experience at least 65 decibels of jet noise during the day and night in the area deemed by local aviation officials as experiencing high levels of jet racket known as a noise contour.

The federal government considers an average of 65 decibels of jet noise during the day and night "annoying."

In comparison, a typical vacuum cleaner creates 70 decibels of noise, according to figures compiled by Purdue University.

A study that could result in more homes qualifying for free soundproofing is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

That study could change the level of noise the federal government considers annoying.

But the O'Hare noise contour map won't be changed to reflect new flight paths until the approximately $8.7 billion O'Hare Modernization Program is completed in 2020, and many Far Northwest Side homeowners won't be eligible for subsidized soundproofing until 2025.

More than 18,000 homes and 120 schools around O’Hare and Midway airports have been soundproofed, according to city officials.

To find out whether your home is within the noise contour or qualifies for free soundproofing, go to this website.