I moved into a new house about a year ago that's located inside a very nice well established neighborhood that's been around for decades. At the end of the neighborhood is a busy highway that has been increasing in use each year as the local population grows. My house is about three blocks away from the highway and so I didn't think (or notice) the sound pollution was so bad. After having been in my house long enough though I notice the highway noise anytime the TV is turned off, while I'm sleeping at night, or when I'm just sitting on my deck outside. It's not so bad that it would prevent me from selling my house (I didn't notice it when I bought the house) but it's definitely something that annoys me when I'm trying to relax outside and look up at the stars or something peaceful.
I'm curious what it would take for me to get the government to build one of those noise barrier walls along the edge of my neighborhood. The distance would only be about half a mile and there are no residential houses on the other side of the highway (so the wall wouldn't be reflecting the noise elsewhere). There's also already about a ten foot clearance between the highway and the neighborhood (parallel). Right now there is a chain-link fence and a few trees lining this space but I think it's plenty big enough for a noise barrier wall. I honestly can't think of a single reason other than cost that would prevent a wall like this from going up.
How can I get the ball rolling on an endeavor such as this? How do I know who to contact? How do I get them to take me seriously? Do I need to get the entire neighborhood to sign a petition? Does the neighborhood have to pay for it? Is it up to the Highway Administration, my Congressman, Senator, or Governor? I live in a relatively rural area so it's not an official city with a mayor or town council or anything like that.