Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sound wall made of vegetation to be studied as alternative to concrete wall

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The Ohio Department of Transportation will test a 12-foot-high wall of stacked, 70-pound bags sprouting plants and grass as an innovative way to muffle highway sound.
The 400-foot Green Noise Wall, to be built this fall on westbound Interstate 70 east of Columbus, is ODOT's attempt to develop an alternative to concrete sound barriers.
And it appears to be only the second stab at eco-friendly noise abatement since 1996, when the Wisconsin Department of Transportation removed a sound wall made of plastic forms filled with soil and plants after the plants died, weeds flourished and a portion of the wall collapsed.
It is like a Chia (Pet) wall - basically filling bags with dirt and seed, watering it and watching it grow up and out," said ODOT spokesman Scott Varner. "And much like the novelty plant on the windowsill, it will take some care in the beginning and ongoing maintenance."
During the two-year experiment, ODOT will determine whether the wall of vegetation can survive Ohio's seasons and road salt, how much water and maintenance it will need and if can provide the same noise mitigation as a concrete wall, he said.
It also has to look good.
Read the complete story from, by Karen Farkas

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