MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new sound barrier is getting a lot of attention, but it may not catch your eye.

A transparent highway barrier went up along Interstate 35E in Little Canada this week.

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Suburban Auto Body owner Dennis O’Connell pushed to have the barrier built after he was notified that the Minnesota Department of Transportation would be building a regular sound barrier along the interstate — including in front of the auto shop.

(credit: CBS)

O’Connell believes that barrier would have threatened the visibility of his business, where location is free advertising.

“I just felt that it would greatly affect … my growth, my walk-in business,” O’Connell said.

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He was allowed to have a 140-foot-long acrylic sound barrier after a year of negotiations. It comes at a price tag of $100,000 — and he is footing the bill.

It’s a hefty price tag, but O’Connell thinks it will be worth it. It ensures that there is now a window, instead of a wall, driving business to his shop.

“[The business] is like having another kid, that’s what it feels like to me,” O’Connell said.

He says the wall is self-cleaning. The city of Little Canada will have to do any maintenance work.

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O’Connell will be responsible for any damage or repairs to the wall.

Kate Raddatz