Field and Laboratory Evaluation of Roadside Soil Quality Restoration Practices

Stormwater control measures (SCMs) are important to mitigate the stormwater quantity and quality of land development on roadsides. Runoff from impervious pavement surfaces creates a substantial disturbance to natural hydrologic processes. Many options are available to manage stormwater on roadsides including detention basins, bioretention basins, and permeable pavements. However, these structural-based practices are costly to build and maintain. An alternative cost-effective SCM is to restore the quality of the existing roadside topsoil. In the proposed study, various cost-effective soil quality restoration treatments will be evaluated to effectively manage stormwater runoff on roadsides. The main goal of this research project is to quantify the improvements for vegetation establishment and subsequent stormwater volume reduction by the proposed soil quality restoration treatments. The research methodology involves conducting both field and greenhouse experiments to determine the selection and mixing ratios of different cost-effective additives such as composts, proprietary soil amendments, and biochars for rapid restoration of roadside soil quality. This work will also investigate the impact of soil compaction and tillage effects on roadside soil quality restoration. Primary tasks for the project will be the development of a specification and implementable guidance for these restoration techniques. The objectives will be achieved in six phases: (1) review of current Iowa DOT practices; (2) collection and determination of the physicochemical properties of the soils and additives mentioned above; (3) greenhouse study; (4) construction and monitoring of field plots; (5) cost analyses; and (6) development of an implementable guideline to help in the selection of the proper additive materials and mixing ratios, and construction and maintenance methods (e.g., mower type and mowing frequency) for roadside soil quality restoration in terms of performance and cost-benefit. The outcome of this research in the form of a construction guideline and a design specification could be immediately implemented by Iowa DOT.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $390000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Managing Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Project Managers:

    Clute, Khyle

  • Performing Organizations:

    Michigan State University, East Lansing

    Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Institute for Community Development
    East Lansing, MI  United States  48824-1226
  • Start Date: 20211101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20241031
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01910244
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: SPR-RE22(010)-8H-00
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2024 7:29PM