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This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-008     Date:  December 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-008
Date: December 2017

 

Evaluation of Promoting Roadside Revegetation: An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants

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FOREWORD

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Research and Technology Program strives to ensure transparency, accessibility, and responsiveness of Research, Development, and Technology (RD&T) for all stakeholders.

This report evaluates outcomes associated with Roadside Revegetation: A Practical Guide to Working with Native Plants, a 2007 guide encouraging agencies to adopt improved roadside revegetation practices.(1) Native roadside revegetation involves establishing or reestablishing appropriate plant material on areas that road construction projects disturb. This report should be of interest to natural resource practitioners responsible for the design and implementation of revegetation projects along roadways.

Monique Evans, Acting Associate Administrator
Research, Development, and Technology

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-17-008

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Evaluation of Promoting Roadside Revegetation: An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants

5. Report Date

December 2017

6. Performing Organization Code

OST-R V-322

7. Author(s)

Carson Poe, Travis Mast, and Paige Colton

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142-1001

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation
Management
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report; January 2011–October 2015

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

John Moulden (HRTM-10) is the Research and Technology Program Manager and the Contracting Officer's Representative for contract DTFH for this program summary.

16. Abstract

This report documents an evaluation of outcomes associated with Roadside Revegetation: A Practical Guide to Working with Native Plants, a 2007 guide encouraging agencies to adopt improved roadside revegetation practices.(1) It should be of interest to natural resource practitioners responsible for the design and implementation of revegetation projects along roadways. This report describes how effective the guide and related materials, such as a website and training course featuring the guide, have been in achieving their stated goals.(3,4) Specifically, the project team sought to understand the following:

  • Whether end users of the guide have changed their previous revegetation practices to adopt those put forth in the guide.
  • How the establishment of native plants has been improved and resulted in other positive outcomes.

Data collected from a survey and subsequent telephone interviews suggest that end users of Roadside Revegetation have experienced improved overall outcomes on projects that apply the guide’s recommended practices, particularly in terms of improved erosion, sustainability and environmental stewardship, and visitor experience.(1) There are fewer indications that the technical guide has helped improve safety or reduce maintenance costs.

17. Key Words

Revegetation, native plants, right of way, road maintenance

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
http://www.ntis.gov

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

60

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

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations

Abbreviation

Term

AASHTO

American Association of Highway Transportation Officials

BLM

Bureau of Land Management

DVD

digital video disc

evaluation team

FHWA’s R&T Evaluation Program Evaluation Team

FHWA

Federal Highway Administration

FLH

Office of Federal Lands Highway

FLMA

Federal Land Management Agency

NPS

National Park Service

R&T

Research and Technology

TIG

Technology Implementation Group

USFS

U.S. Forest Service

USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

WFL

Western Federal Lands Highway

Executive Summary

This report documents an evaluation of outcomes associated with Roadside Revegetation: A Practical Guide to Working with Native Plants, a 2007 guide encouraging agencies to adopt improved roadside revegetation practices.(1) The Research and Technology (R&T) Evaluation Program was created to help the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assess how effectively it is meeting its goals and objectives and to provide useful data to inform future project selections. For each evaluation, FHWA’s R&T Evaluation Program Evaluation Team (evaluation team) is made up of non-FHWA third-party evaluators not involved in the research programs and projects being evaluated.

The evaluation describes how effective the guide and related materials such as a website and training course featuring the guide, have been in achieving their stated goals.(2,3) Specifically, the project team sought to understand the following:

Native roadside revegetation involves establishing or reestablishing appropriate plant material on areas that road construction projects disturb. Its benefits include soil and slope stabilization, improved water quality, aesthetics, carbon sequestration, weed suppression, and enhanced wildlife habitat. Recognizing that sharing information about roadside revegetation processes and techniques is one way to advance the practice and achieve these benefits, FHWA’s Office of Federal Lands Highway teamed with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to develop an assessment and monitoring protocol for roadside revegetation, which is described in the guide.(1)

After conducting a literature review, the project team administered an online survey supplemented by subsequent telephone interviews to learn about end users’ perspectives on Roadside Revegetation.(1) Informal feedback on the guide that FHWA and USFS have received as well as visitation statistics to Roadside Revegetation’s website were also analyzed.(3)

Findings and Recommendations

The project team found that end users have adopted the Roadside Revegetation practices by using the guide as a reference tool to reinforce existing measures mandated by agency policies.(1) Generally, when end users are aware of Roadside Revegetation and its associated materials, they have found the guide to be very informative and useful. There was also evidence suggesting that overall outcomes on projects that apply Roadside Revegetation’s recommended practices guide have been improved. Specifically, survey respondents and interviewees believed Roadside Revegetation has generally improved erosion, sustainability and environmental stewardship, and visitor experience outcomes (see Establishment of Native Plants and Other Positive Outcomes). There are fewer indications that the technical guide has helped improve safety or reduce maintenance costs.

Given these findings, the following recommendations (discussed in detail in chapter 4) are offered:

 

 

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