The City of Raleigh has started construction on I-440 near Meredith College that is expected to last until summer 2023. This construction project has taken down many trees used to shield campus from the road and greenway, causing a disturbance, increase in noise and decrease of privacy. Some students say that the impact the construction has on the environment and wildlife is another issue.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, different construction and paving projects contribute to exhaust emissions and water pollution. Construction also negatively impacts wetlands, streams and other wildlife habitats.
Madison Mathis, ‘22, the president of Meredith’s Angels for the Environment club, spoke with The Herald about the impact construction has on the environment. She stated, “construction contributes to air pollution, climate change, drinking water pollution and landfill waste.” Mathis added that the construction happening near the greenway is necessary but also responsible for “destroying parts of an ecosystem.” However, construction teams must follow the rules set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “whose major goal is to protect the environment,” she said.
In terms of noise that is coming from the construction, Mathis considers it a source of pollution because it causes disturbances for both students and wildlife. She said, “noise pollution can affect wildlife by negatively changing their day-to-day tasks, which can harm them in the long run.” Mathis hopes that the construction finishes in a timely manner to minimize the negative effects.
When asked about what could be done to lower the environmental impacts from the construction, Mathis explained that “the team could reduce noise by only operating during certain times in order to not disrupt those living close by, including the wildlife.” She noted that it is imperative that all construction waste is properly disposed of and materials used are able to be recycled or reused.
By Rania Abushakra, Staff Writer