Joanna Hamed is not a morning person, but she's an early riser anyway, roused by the sound of trucks rumbling on Avondale Road Northeast...

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Joanna Hamed is not a morning person, but she’s an early riser anyway, roused by the sound of trucks rumbling on Avondale Road Northeast near Woodinville.

Across the street, Megan Desantis turns a fan on “turbo,” to drown out the noise at night.

“If I didn’t,” she said, “I wouldn’t sleep.”

Increased traffic on Avondale has worn down the concrete, turned up the road noise and worked on neighbors’ nerves, the women say.

They’re urging King County to pave a 2.5-mile stretch of concrete from Northeast 134th Street to Woodinville-Duvall Road with asphalt rubber, which contains tiny voids, like a Rice Krispies bar, that trap sound waves rather than letting them bounce around on the surface.

The group they founded, Citizens for a Quieter Avondale, will hold a public meeting with officials from King County on Tuesday. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Woodinville Water District Building, 17238 N.E. Woodinville-Duvall Road.

Sometimes called “quiet” or “quieter” pavement, asphalt rubber is being tested on the state’s highways.

The state Department of Transportation plans to study the test sections for at least five years to determine whether it is a cost-effective alternative.

Asphalt rubber cost more per pound, but is typically spread thinner. Advocates say the thinner application and improved durability make it cheaper over the long term.

King County’s roads division spread an earlier version of the stuff on part of East Lake Sammamish Parkway in the mid-1990s, but when the road became part of city of Sammamish, they stopped monitoring its performance, said Frank Overton, a county roads engineer.

Asphalt rubber is used in a half-dozen states and handful of countries. Hamed and Desantis believe it could work well here. Hamed added that their stretch of Avondale Road, which contains expansion joints that contribute to the noise, has never had an overlay.

She said readings she’s taken with a noise meter far exceed the recommended level of 66 decibels, the threshold at which the state DOT generally starts to mitigate highway noise.

But there are no such noise standards for county roads.

In a recent rating, that section of Avondale Road, which was built in 1953, scored a 51, said Jim Marcus, a county roads engineer. A road is considered a candidate for an overlay at 40, he said. A perfect score is 80.

Because it is concrete, Avondale Road can’t simply be paved over with asphalt because the cracks in concrete underneath would cause “reflective” cracking in the top layer, he said.

Marcus said the road would first have to be broken into small pieces of rubble and covered with at least 3 inches of asphalt, an involved, expensive process.

Amy Roe: 206-464-3347 or aroe@seattletimes.com