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Roadside Vegetation Management Rick Wanner – Illinois Department of Transportation Tim Pollowy – Hey and Associates, Inc. September 15, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Roadside Vegetation Management Rick Wanner – Illinois Department of Transportation Tim Pollowy – Hey and Associates, Inc. September 15, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roadside Vegetation Management Rick Wanner – Illinois Department of Transportation Tim Pollowy – Hey and Associates, Inc. September 15, 2011

2 A little bit of background… IDOT District 1 includes the six county metro Chicago area ~2,791 miles of roadway in District 1 that IDOT is responsible for maintaining Does not include tollroads (which are ISTHA’s responsibility) Over 3,500 acres of expressway roadsides in District 1 Over 13,500 acres of primary route roadsides in District 1

3 History… In District 1, roadside landscape maintenance was (and in some cases remains) the responsibility of 23 separate IDOT Maintenance Yards spread out over 6 counties. Abilities vary greatly between the Yards. As budgets and staff were cut, more and more maintenance work has been contracted out. Past complications with “No Spray” Maps

4 Vegetation management – Zone 1 vs. Zone 2 Litter Traffic control and safety Coordination: Maintenance Yards vs. Contractors, politics vs. plans Roadside Maintenance… Impact attenuator and arrow board behind spray truckTrash along Dan Ryan Expressway

5 Zone 1 = roadside closest to and directly related to traveled lanes “Mow maps” to define limits of mowing along expressways Reduced mowing (acreage and frequency) Maintain Zone 1 weed free to avoid spreading weeds during mowing Zone 1 Oops!

6 Zone 2 = roadside beyond Zone 1 Stronger relationship with adjacent property TVM (Targeted Vegetation Management) – “Prescriptions” for managing prairie, woodland, landscaped areas, and other cover types Zone 2 Weed control along the Bishop Ford Expressway

7 GIS Mapping & Database In December of 2009, IDOT retained a consultant team led by Hey and Associates, Inc. to assist District 1 Bureau of Maintenance Operations with wetlands, erosion control, and landscape issues. In 2010, Hey and Associates began development of GIS mapping and a database for all expressway roadsides while simultaneously managing numerous maintenance contracts including mowing, herbicide application, and urban forestry.

8 Results: I-290 Reconstruction (2010) 2010 Eisenhower Expressway reconstruction ~60 acres of selective clearing completed Removal of invasive (e.g. Siberian elm) and hazard trees Native seed (provided by IDNR) hand broadcasted in Zone 2 areas I-290 near Independence Boulevard (2010) I-290 near Oak Park (2011)

9 ~ 550 Zone 2 acres sprayed targeting teasel ( Dipsacus laciniatus and D. sylvestris ) in 2011 via general weed control contract ~ 80 Zone 1 & 2 acres sprayed targeting common reed ( Phragmites australis ) in 2011 via general weed control contract Results – Weed Control (2011) Thorndale I-290 (before control) Thorndale I-290 (after control)

10 Results: I-80 Widening/Resurfacing (2011) 2011 I-80 resurfacing and lane widening ~18 acres of selective clearing completed, 4 ½ more acres planned ~ 7 acres of teasel control completed, more planned this Fall ~ 10 acres of common reed control completed Larkin I-80 (before control) Larkin I-80 (after control)

11 Looking ahead… Limited resources Prioritize maintenance activities and locations Three goals… Sauk I-57 (SW infield)

12 Manheim I-290 (SE infield) Goal #1: Maintain Nice Areas Continue to maintain Zone 1 Identify areas of higher quality vegetation within IDOT ROW Manage these areas to prevent degradation

13 Goal #2: Target New Invaders Identified and targeted: Johnson grass, Leafy spurge, Blue globe thistle, and Oriental bittersweet

14 Goal #3: Coordination IDOT seeks to coordinate invasive species control with adjacent land owners/managers Weed control “on both sides of the fence” Keep invasive species out of high quality natural areas IDOT policy requires coordination with IDNR Heritage Biologist prior to any herbicide use adjacent to Nature Preserves and INAI sites


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