Pattullo Bridge noise leads Lori Pappajohn to soundproof

A resident of New Westminster, B.C., says she has spent thousands of dollars soundproofing her home because traffic noise from the busy Pattullo bridge had become unbearable.

New Westminster harpist says she spent $10,000 to shut out truck noise

One New Westminster home renovated to make it soundproof 2:06

A resident of New Westminster, B.C., says she has spent thousands of dollars soundproofing her home because traffic noise from the busy Pattullo Bridge has become unbearable.

Lori Pappajohn lives in a 60-year-old house situated near the toll-free Pattullo Bridge, which she says is increasingly being used by cars and trucks that do not want to pay to cross the Fraser River on the tolled Port Mann Bridge.

TransLinkhas yet to release long-promised data on traffic volumes, but residents in New Westminster and Surrey have been complaining about more congestion on the Pattullo.

For residents like Pappajohn, who live near the bridge, more traffic means more noise. For a musician who works in her home, it has become a real problem.

"All these trucks started to divert on to this street, it was an instant increase of trucks overnight," she said. "A truck goes by the whole place shakes. They use their J-brake and, you know, that 'rrrrrrrrrr' sound."

So, the harpist decided to take matters into her own hands. She soundproofed her front door and living room at the cost of $10,000. One wall is now a foot thick.

"It's got an isolated wall, it's got special soundproofed insulation and it has made a great difference," she said.

The City of New Westminster, which opposes replacing the aging Pattullo with a four-lane or six-lane crossing as currently planned, has asked Premier Christy Clark and Transportation Minister Todd Stone to see — and hear — the problem themselves. 

"The minister will probably see us. I think the Premier is too busy," said New Westminster mayor Wayne Wright.

Wright said if and when the city does meet with the province, it will push to have some traffic patterns and truck routes changed.

In the meantime, Pappajohn'seight-paned windows shut out most of the truck noise, which is music to her ears. 

Click on the video above to see details of how Pappajohn soundproofed her home.

With files from CBC's Belle Puri