Landscape and Ecology

Roadside Landscaping


(A) Vegetation:
1. Roadside cleaning and vegetation maintenance
(1) Roadside cleanliness
The roadside cleanliness maintenance work involves patrolling the outer shoulders to pick up garbage on a daily basis and weekly regular sweepings. The inner shoulders are cleared and swept 2~4 times each month with a warning-sign truck equipped with an impact attenuator. Considering the safety of the staff, the inner shoulder garbage pickup vehicle was changed to a van from the year 2016.
(2) Ecological ponds maintenance and management
The bureau maintains and manages 5 ecological ponds. The 5 ponds are located respectively at Kaohsiung Science Park Interchange on Freeway No. 1, East Caotun and Ailan Interchanges on Freeway No. 6, 0k+900~1k+100 on Freeway No. 3A (westbound), and the Airport System Interchange on Freeway No. 2. To maintain the wetland ecology and scenery, routine works include maintaining the vegetation, removing sand and silt once or twice a year, weekly clearing of garbage and junk, and removing aquatic plants and invasive species. The species composition, water quality, and heavy metals in the environment will be monitored when needed to serve as a reference for improving maintenance work.
(3) Maintenance of vegetation
Regularly scheduled mowing, pruning, watering, fertilizing, vines removing, weeding and tree sawing tasks along the freeways and median strips. Typhoons such as Moranti and Megi in 2016 caused the breaking, tilting, and falling of many trees along the freeways. After emergency work by each engineering branches, the trees and debris were cleared in 5 to 10 days and smooth traffic flow was restored.
2. Landscaping and ecological restoration
(1) Results of the National Freeway Landscaping Improvement Project by each Regional Branch Office
To encourage each regional branch office to actively participate in landscape planning and defining the region's own features, the Project was initiated in 2013 to select and award the best landscaping design. Each regional branch office selected a section or interchange within its jurisdiction and submitted a proposal for its improvement. After preliminary and secondary evaluations, the Zhongli and Pingtung branches took 1st and 2nd place respectively. The Bureau then assisted in finishing up the detailed design before the work was contracted out. Those constructions were completed in 2015 and is still being maintained. The results are as follows:
A. Zhongli Branch: Freeway No. 1 Neili Interchange Landscaping Improvement Project:
Underneath the northbound onramp, bare ground was improved by hydroseeding of grass seeds. On the sides of the road and beneath the bridge, yellow and pink-flowered shrubs such as Tashiro indian hawthorn, azaleas, and yellow oleander were planted to complement the existing trees as an extension of the Four Seasons of Utopia landscaping design concept used in the Wugu to Yangmei section.
B. Pingtung Branch: Freeway No. 3 Yanchao System Interchange Platform Landscaping Improvement Project:
The pink cassia, with pink blossoms covering the trees, is the focal point of the platform. The cassia is surrounded by shrubs on the outside including bougainvillea, yucca, and Mauritius hemp. The colorful tropical plants are expected to bring a bright spot to freeway landscaping and create a southern tropical atmosphere.
(2) Those that have been beautified successfully by planting special vegetation and creating variety in landscaping in visual focal areas of the road users such as on the sides of the main routes, interchanges, service areas, or the slopes next to local access roads includes:
A. Northern Region: Freeway No. 1 Linkou Vertically Separated Lanes Median Landscaping Improvement Project, Freeway No. 2 Dayuan Interchange Landscaping Improvement Project, Freeway No. 2 Danan Interchange and Freeway No. 1 Yangmei Interchange Landscaping Improvement Project.
B. Central Region: Dajia Branch Landscaping Improvement Project, Freeway No. 1 Southbound 148K Slope Beautification Project, Dounan Branch Landscaping Improvement Project, Freeway No. 3 Wuri Interchange Beautification
(3) Reduce roadkill and protect animals and plants by restoring and connecting habitats or by installing environmentally friendly facilities. The results are as follows:
A. Maintenance and monitoring of the Tongxiao No. 1 multifunctional wildlife overpass on Freeway No. 3.
Since 2013, 1/3 of the space on the overpass was designated a biological corridor for animals to pass through. Continuous monitoring has recorded different animals such as the masked palm civet and wild rabbits, even the leopard cats, an important protected species, using the overpass.
B. Dounan Branch Heron Forest Conservation
From July 2008 to July 2010, a company was contracted with the Freeway No. 1 Taichung Interchange Wild Birds Conservation Task, to investigate the roadkill of herons around the Taichung Interchange. Since 2010, warning signs and protective nets have been installed, and the plants trimmed according to the investigation report to remind road users and prevent subadult (those without ability to fly) herons from entering the highway.
The herons have recently moved their nesting location from the Taichung Interchange of Freeway No. 1 to around the 177k mark of the main route. The Central Region Branch Office has, as a response, set up a 180 cm tall, 162.6 m long protective net near the southbound 177k+400 mark to effectively lower the rate of roadkill on the main route.
C. Freeway No. 6 Guoxing Interchange Ecological Landscape Restoration Project
The project ties the water and green spaces together to create an restored foothill habitat that has local characteristics and is suitable for many species to coexist in. The maintenance period of the newly planted native species and the transplanted seedlings which were planted in December of 2013 during phase 1 of the project had expired in January of 2016. The project included installation of many eco-friendly facilities including bat boxes, ecological ditches, and rainwater purification systems that can collect rainwater from the bridges for the plants planted underneath. Additionally, climbing plants were planted by the concrete retaining walls along the Lengkeng Creek in Guoxing to soften the appearance of the rigid structure.
3. Landscaping improvement as part of road or facility expansion projects.
The new planting and transplanting projects are as follows:
(1) In conjunction with the removal of toll stations as the National Freeway moves to electronic toll collection, new planting and landscaping projects in the southern region include the Xinying branch (Xingying, Xingshi), Baihe branch (Gukeng, Baihe, Shanhua), and Pingtung branch (Tianliao, Zhutien) toll stations. The project began in November 2015 and was completed in January 2016.
(2) The plant transplantation of the Freeway No. 1 Youshi Interchange Improvement Project began in July 2015. Planting was completed in April 2016, with a maintenance period of one year beginning May.
(3) The plant transplantation of the Freeway No. 3 Yanpu Interchange Addition Project (Tender D44A) commenced in March 2016 and was completed in October.
4. Evaluation of maintenance adoption of landscaping along National Freeway Interchanges, slopes, and under viaducts
A total of 51 organizations participated in the adoption in 2016. In the preliminary evaluations by the branch offices, 28 organizations scored above 80 points. The following organizations have reached the award standard in secondary evaluations by the Bureau: Shunde Village office of Sanchong District, New Taipei City (adopting the slopes by the bridge from Renxing St. to Huanhe N. Rd on northbound Freeway No. 1), New Taipei City Environmental Agency (adopting the green patch in the Chunghe Interchange loop on Freeway No. 3) and Chinese Community Development Association (adopting the slopes from 358k+600 to 358k+690 on southbound Freeway No. 1).
(B) Public Art
1. For the Public Art Installation Project for Important Public Projects Including the Widening of Freeway No. 1 Wugu to Yangmei Section, the public art installation and improvement to the surrounding landscaping in the Taian Service Area on both northbound and southbound Freeway No. 1 was completed after more than 3 years of hard work and was opened in the beginning of December 2016.
The theme of the southbound service area, Station of Happiness, is the work of the artist Yalun Tao and includes two pieces: The Merry-go-round in the Garden and The Secret Base Below the Dining Table. The theme of the northbound service area, An An's Wonderland, is the work of the team of Howard Huang and Chien-Fu Wu from the Foundation for Research on Open Space, Taipei. The collection includes the Flash Motorbike, Fantastical Merry-Go-Round, Flying Chariot, Cloud Swing, Leaf-shaped Seesaw, The Happy Wheel, Cool Cradle, and Electric Tree Sprite. With public art fused into the surroundings, the service areas are made warm, welcoming and pleasant.
2. Public Art Installation Project – Freeway No. 1 Zhongli Service Area
The project was submitted to the MOTC and passed in December 2015. A public selection was held, and the Public Art ”An enjoyment of fragrance of Lotus,Tung flower and Taste of sweet Donuts” proposed by Shalom Arts Consulting, Inc. was selected. Chen Hui-ting the project curator from shalom Arts Consulting , Inc. had invited local artists Jian She-min, ChenLi-hsing, and Deng Hui-fen to come up with three sets of public art words displayed in the service area. The visitors will find them characterized with delightful and unique customs of Taoyuan County and leave the area with a pleasant memory. And the Public Art was completed on December of 2017.
(C) Prevention of invasive animal and plant species
1. Prevention of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Since May 2004, the Bureau has been conducting an investigation of the affected areas along the freeways based on the conclusion of the first national meeting on the prevention of invasive species by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Council of Agriculture. A total of 25 zones for a total affected area of 110 hectares were found. As of the year 2016, the Bureau worked with the prevention in 18 zones with a total area of approximately 119.2 hectares, all of which belonged under the jurisdiction of the northern branch office. The budget for ant prevention (including baits, human resources, publicity and equipment) was registered at NT$793,600.
2. Prevention and removal of invasive plant species
The main targets for invasive plants removal on the side slopes of the freeways include species such as Mikania micrantha, Chromolaena odorata, and Leucaena leucocephala. These plants are resilient and can spread very quickly, causing severe impact on the ecology. With reference to the pest control and prevention method put forth by the Forestry Bureau of the Agriculture Council, the Freeway Bureau has drafted its pest control and prevention plan and executed it each year since 2005. The results were reported back to Agriculture Council's Endemic Species Research Institute in January or February of each year since 2006.
The work has cleared 21 hectares of Mikania micrantha (spread mainly along south of the Miaoli Branch on Freeway No. 1 and south of Muzha Branch on Freeway No. 3), and 5.85 hectares of Chromolaena odorata (spread mainly along Baihe and Pingtung Branches on Freeway No. 3). Leucaena leucocephala has been dealt with by weeding aperiodically due to its widespread growth and limited manpower and budget. As the invasive species is removed, an appropriate native tree or shrub species is planted simultaneously to establish dominance of native speciesto prevent a repeated invasion.
(D) Research and Development
1. Freeway Ecological Resource Survey and Foothills Restoration Research Program
To understand the influence of National Freeway facilities and landscaping on the ecology and to better integrate the roads and the environment, the Bureau has exerted its efforts on several fronts. These efforts include continuous analyzing of roadkill data, monitoring the ecological corridors, effectiveness evaluation of the removal of the invasive species Leucaena leucocephala, updating information on ecologically sensitive areas and amending the relevant regulations, expansion and maintenance of the National Freeway ecological database system, and the planning of conservation work for prioritized sections of the foothill areas near the freeways. Additionally, the Bureau selected captivating and touching pictures from the precious images of animal activities taken by automatic cameras set along the freeways. These images are compiled through a storytelling technique into a documentary (Satoyama) and shared with the local and international community.
2. Research and Amendment of Freeway Landscaping Design Regulations
The Freeway Landscaping Design Regulations was promulgated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication in December 2007. As engineering technology, materials, equipment, and techniques advance, and the laws and regulations around the world frequently updated, the Regulations are due for a complete review and amendment in conjunction with the implementation of relevant government policies. The Bureau contracted CECI Engineering, Inc to look into the research and related road regulations in the world, supplemented by seminars and public hearings to consolidate the opinions of experts and competent authorities to amend the Regulations with the country's development policy in mind. Additionally, an operating manual for landscaping design for the Bureau was made as a frame of reference for Bureau staff and contracted companies. The draft proposal is projected to be completed and submitted for review in 2018.

Date of Posting :2007-12-06
Source of Information:Construction Division
Last Updated:2018-02-12