NDOT to consider landscape and aesthetics planning for state highways

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The state Transportation Board votes today on a master plan designed to improve the aesthetics of Nevada's highway system.

The aim of the draft plan is to improve "the total visual impression" of the state's highways both from the point of the driver using them to people looking at the roadway, its bridges and drainage structures.

"Highways that incorporate landscape and aesthetic treatments make a powerful statement and contribute to local and regional economic opportunity and diversification," said Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa.

The draft plan says the Nevada Department of Transportation has recognized the importance of aesthetics in building highways since 1968.

The plan requires landscaping and aesthetics be considered along with all other design factors in state transportation projects. It encourages partnerships with local groups, business, the public and other permitting agencies in developing projects which "express the unique heritage, culture and environment of the state and it's communities."

It urges any landscaping focus on appropriate materials and drought resistant plants.

Beyond the master plan, the draft calls for planning along each of the major transportation corridors through Nevada involving the state, local governments and the public to help prepare the plans. After the corridor plan is finished, it will become the guide for individual project designs within the corridor.

Project designs would include not only highway, bridge and interchange construction but plantings, sound walls, artwork including murals and sculptures and rest stops.

The transportation board, which is meeting in Las Vegas, is expected to vote on the draft plan today.


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