NJDOT highlights its commitment to environmental stewardship on Earth Day
Construction and landscaping projects protect environment
and beautify roads
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today recognized Earth Day 2016 by highlighting a few examples of the Department’s environmental stewardship efforts along state highways and as part of our road projects.
NJDOT has several programs designed to help protect the environment and beautify our roadways, in addition to our maintenance work to keep our highways clean by removing litter and debris. Notable environmental efforts currently underway are the restoration of Cedar Bonnet Island as part of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project in Ocean County, and the Route 9 Howell Landscape Enhancement Project in Monmouth County.
Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project – Cedar Bonnet Island
As part of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project, NJDOT is restoring Cedar Bonnet Island, which is part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. The project is a unique collaboration among state and federal agencies to restore part of the area to a salt marsh and to provide public access and walking trails once the site opens, which is expected in late 2017. The restoration work is part of a mitigation plan approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for environmental impacts from the Route 72 bridge construction.
Good Neighbor Landscape project along the Route 9 corridor
The Good Neighbor Landscape project along the Route 9 corridor was prompted by Howell Township’s desire to beautify its Route 9 corridor. NJDOT recently completed the installation of flowering and canopy trees at several locations along Route 9, including two ornamental beds at each end of Route 9 in Howell Township. This was in addition to the removal of diseased and hazardous trees along the Route 9 corridor.
Landscape designs are included in many of the Department’s capital improvement projects to address aesthetics and to mitigate other impacts. Over periods of time, the landscape features mature, outlive a functional service life, decline from drought, insects or diseases, get overrun with invasive plants or are damaged from weather events.
These changes can negatively impact mowing efficiency, aesthetics, safety, and litter removal. NJDOT’s Efficient Mowing Turf and Landscape Consolidation Program—“TLC”—is implemented to compliment the NJDOT’s roadside beautification initiative, and is utilized on all State Rights of Way where mowing operations occur.
The NJDOT Good Neighbor Landscaping Program allows the Department to address landscaping needs on a timely basis through the installation of functional plantings and other landscape elements to minimize adverse effects of the highway where engineered solutions are prohibitive. This program provides low-cost, quick turnaround capital and safety improvements administered by the NJDOT Bureau of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Solutions, Office of Landscape Architecture. The program also allows the Department to comply with Environmental permit commitments.
The Good Neighbor Landscaping Program is administered through the Department of the Treasury. The scope of work for the program includes the planting of trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, and other landscape elements including, small scale unit pavers, small scale unit retaining wall installations and general preparation of the proposed planting area.
For more information on NJDOT’s environmental stewardship programs, visit CleanUpNJ! online.