The Ohio Department of Transportation is experimenting with a greener approach to dampen the sounds produced by highway travel. The vegetated sound walls work similar to the Chia Pet concept, where bags of soil are stacked into a wall, then seeded, creating a natural sound barrier free of concrete. There is added maintenance that comes with such a barrier, including watering and weeding, but the visual picture of grass over concrete has many people willing to compromise.
Over the next two years, ODOT will determine how much water and maintenance the wall of vegetation will need. The department plans to look at whether the wall of plants and grass can survive Ohio's weather, and whether it can cut down on as much noise as a concrete wall
There have been similar projects, such as in Wisconsin where a sound wall was constructed from plastic forms filled with soil and plants in 1994, but removed it in 1996 after a portion of the barrier collapsed and weeds spread. The only similarity between Ohio's wall and the one that failed in Wisconsin is its triangular shape.
For an interview surrounding the project, CLICK HERE
Hopefully this idea will catch on and lead to the greening of other aspects of highway travel.
Have a great weekend