Location: Champaign, Illinois
Project Scope: Specification Development, Construction Observation

IDOT Highway 74 Interchange Prairie Restoration This project is part of a roadside planting that was conducted in an effort to beautify Illinois’ roadsides with wildflower plantings. The project was planned in three small but highly visible areas at the Interstate 74 & N. Mattis Avenue overpass, totaling about one acre. The installation was completed in 2005 followed by site stewardship. The area was designed with a mix of native plugs and seed that contained both native grasses and wildflowers. The species list consisted of plants chosen so that there would be different wildflowers blooming from early spring to late fall. Stewardship was specified that required the contractor to conduct spot herbicide treatments and mowing to control invasive species and common agricultural weeds during the first years of stewardship. This roadside planting has demonstrated the drought tolerance of native species as well as the improvement of water quality due to storm water infiltration. This experimental project also showed how roadsides can be aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly, and relatively low maintenance.

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