The expected completion date for an estimated $1.1 million project that looks to enhance the landscape along an 8.3-mile section of I-69 is expected for June this year.
From Brazos Canyon Drive to Wright Road, contractors with the Texas Department of Transportation are enhancing the landscaping along that section of road, including removing and replacing dead vegetation, and will include new plants and trees that will not only be native, hardy, and maintenance friendly, but will also be designed to help mitigate noise pollution from the highway and create a more pleasant atmosphere for the surrounding areas, the city of Sugar Land said in its official blog. In addition, the project is designed to rehabilitate most of the plant beds along I-69 by utilizing plant material able to withstand being located along a highway.
Cities such as Sugar Land are partnering with TxDOT’s Green Ribbon Program to make the enhancements a reality. The program, a master plan that guides TxDOT in the development of its highway facilities in the Houston district—counties including Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Harris—and allows cities such as Sugar Land to partner with the agency to subsidize the design and ongoing maintenance of state highways. While the city pays for the design and ongoing maintenance of the improvements, TxDOT pays for all of the improvements.
“It [Green Ribbon Program] consists of guidelines and specifications for engineering, architecture, landscape architecture and public art,” a TxDOT spokesperson said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “It is our road map to aesthetic and landscape development.”
Prior to the Green Ribbon Project starting in 1999, the Houston district had 20,000 trees, TxDOT said. By working on reforestation with partners in other areas, the department has been able to plant over 2.5 million trees in the district without increasing maintenance costs.