As an organization whose goal it is to construct highways, it is sometimes easy to overlook the environmental responsibilities we have as stewards of large amounts of land within the State. As a result of new and expanded road projects, it is sometimes necessary to align roads through forested land in order to provide the motoring public with as safe a road system as possible.
During the design stage of every highway project, careful attention is directed at limiting the amount of impact to the environment. Where this is not possible, every effort is made to replace the impacted area with carefully designed plantings to help speed up the "environmental healing" that must take place in order to return the impacted area to a sound ecological community.
As part of the design process, consideration is given to save trees considered "specimen" or "significant." In several cases, road alignments have been shifted to avoid such trees. The use of retaining walls and special root pruning techniques are methods employed to protect the roots of large trees.
These trees have been given special consideration as part of the State Highway Administration's continued dedication to environmental sensitivity in design and construction.