The Effects of Reduced Mowing in Medians on Storm Water Filtration and Invasive Species Management

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Maintenance Division has been considering reducing or eliminating mowing of rights of way as a way to reduce costs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been encouraging reduced mowing as a way to increase native vegetation along roads. Except for the clear zone, it is expected that a reduction in mowing will result in increased growth of tall grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees as this is the normal succession pattern in New England. The challenges are to allow the forest to return outside of the clear zone while maintaining or improving the capacity of the vegetation to filter storm water and to ensure that the vegetation community which develops is dominated by native trees and shrubs and not the many invasive species common in Rhode Island. This project aims to 1) analyze whether managed and unmanaged vegetation communities (frequently mowed, annually mowed, forest) on roadway medians differ in their capacity to remove pollutants from storm water, and 2) survey plant community changes due to natural succession in roadside grasslands where mowing is reduced or eliminated in order to assess the probability of colonization by invasive species.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPR- 2232(325)


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      University Transportation Centers Program
      1200 New Jersey Avenue
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      URI Transportation Center- RIDOT

      75 Lower College Road
      Kingston, RI  United States  02906
    • Principal Investigators:

      Meyerson, Laura

    • Start Date: 20130815
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • Source Data: RiP Project 35641

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01497807
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University of Rhode Island Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: SPR- 2232(325), S000201
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Nov 9 2013 1:00AM