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An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Roadside Design and Restoration

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January 2013

Front Materials

report cover

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Roadside Design and Restoration
5. Report Date
January 2013
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Amit Armstrong, Ph.D., P.E., FHWA
Lindsey R. Sousa, AICP, LEED AP, Parsons Brinckerhoff Colin Haggerty, P.E., CFM, Parsons Brinckerhoff Conrad Fischer, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Will Wagenlander, AICP, Parsons Brinckerhoff
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Parsons Brinckerhoff
555 17th Street, Suite 500 Denver, CO 80202 USA
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address Federal Highway Administration Western Federal Lands Highway 610 East 5th St.
Vancouver, WA 98661
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report 2012
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
COTR: Amit Armstrong, Ph.D., P.E.
This technology deployment was funded under the FHWA Federal Lands Highway Coordinated Technology Implementation Program (CTIP).
16. Abstract
The roadside represents the interface between the roadway and the surrounding environment, and plays an important role in protecting the larger ecosystem. Roadsides are dynamic environments that require unique treatments and restoration approaches. This guide presents an integrated and holistic approach to incorporating sustainable solutions into disciplines such as hydraulic design, geotech, aesthetics and vegetation, among others. The intent of this research is not to create a new design process, but rather to incorporate recommendations into the existing design process. The goal is to raise awareness about the trade-offs inherent in designing a sustainable roadside so that these issues are addressed early-on in project development. A checklist of sustainability strategies is included in this guidebook as a tool within the project development process.
17. Key Words
Roadside Restoration, Sustainability, Integrated Approach
18. Distribution Statement
No restriction. This document is available to the public from the sponsoring agency at the website publications
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
Reproduction of completed page authorized

Table of Contents




ADT - average daily traffic

AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

BMP - best management practice

BSM - bioretention soil mix

CFT - cross functional team

COV - cone of vision

CSS - context-sensitive solutions

DOR - Department of Roads

DOT - Department of Transportation

EMP - Environmental Mitigation Program

EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

FHWA - Federal Highway Administration

FLH - Federal Lands Highway

FS - Forest Service

ICC - Intercounty Connector

INVEST - Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

IRVM - integrated roadside vegetation management

IVM - integrated vegetation management

LCA - lifecycle assessment

LID - low-impact development

NCHRP - National Cooperative Highway Research Program

NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

NPS - National Park Service

PLD - porous landscape detention

RMNP - Rocky Mountain National Park

SR - State Route

WSRA - Wild and Scenic Rivers Act


Context sensitive solutions (CSS) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in providing a transportation facility that fits its setting. It is an approach that leads to preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and environmental resources while improving or maintaining safety, mobility, and infrastructure conditions (FHWA, 2007).
ENGINEERING The profession in which knowledge of mathematical and natural science is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, 1963).
HIGHWAY Any facility designed to accommodate motorized vehicular transportation. This includes all functional roadway classifications (arterial, collector, local) that accommodate motorized vehicles (FHWA, 2012).
RESTORATION The return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance (NRC, 1995).
ROADSIDE Roadside includes the sides of the road beyond the pavement (travel lanes and shoulders). The area includes the limits of the right-of-way and may extend beyond the right-of-way if public land. The roadside is typically an area disturbed by roadway construction or reconstruction.
SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is satisfying basic social and economic needs, both present and future, and the responsible use of natural resources, all while maintaining or improving the well- being of the environment on which life depends (FHWA, 2011).
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT With respect to development, the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations succinctly stated that sustainable development is "development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (United Nations, 1987).
SUSTAINABLE HIGHWAY FHWA views sustainable highways as an integral part of the broader context of sustainable development. A sustainable highway should satisfy the functional requirements of societal development and economic growth while reducing negative impacts on the environment and consumption of natural resources. The sustainability of a highway should be considered throughout the project lifecycle - from conception through construction (FHWA, 2011).
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION A sustainable solution is a specific project activity, feature, or process that accomplishes the goal of promoting sustainability.

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