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Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.18. Maintenance of Soils

Maintenance activities can greatly affect soil structure in a positive or negative way. A solid plant cover is the best defense against erosion and invasive species. Routine maintenance activities can help build the soil to support vigorous plant growth. [N]

  • Plants suffer from nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Contact the Landscape Architect for recommendations before amending soil. The Landscape Architect can provide information on appropriate fertilizers or soil amendments.
  • Allow organic matter to remain on the ground where it will not jeopardize safety or visual quality. Logs and brushpiles enrich the soil and provide habitat while decomposing. Such decomposition can reduce the need for additional fertilization or soil amendments and reduce maintenance expenditures.
  • Fresh wood chips can use up available nitrogen and affect plant growth. To avoid this problem, spread wood chips thinly over a large area or add nitrogen to aid in decomposition.
  • Avoid driving vehicles or operating equipment on saturated soil and in vegetated areas.
  • Reseed, cover, or mulch bare soils as soon as possible when they have been exposed by maintenance activities or errant vehicles .

With regard to control of soil tracked by equipment onto pavement or other inappropriate areas:

  • Substantially visible sediment should be swept or vacuumed from the maintenance activity site.
  • If not mixed with debris or trash, consider incorporating the removed sediment back into the maintenance activity site.
  • Washing and rinsing of equipment should be performed in designated areas and the resulting runoff shall not be discharged to the storm drain system.


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Table of Contents
Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.1 Environmental Enhancement Practices and Partnership Efforts
10.2 Protection of Historic and Other Cultural Resources
10.3 Maintenance in Wetlands
10.4 Maintenance Near Waterbodies
10.5 Maintenance of Structures for Wildlife
10.6 Maintenance of Stormwater Facilities
10.7 Maintenance of Roadside Public Facilities
10.8 Management of Portable Sanitary/Septic Waste Systems
10.9 Maintenance of Shoulders and Roadway Appurtenances
10.10 Sweeping and Vacuuming of Roads, Decks, Water Quality Facilities, and Bridge Scuppers
10.11 Maintenance Stewardship Practices for Slopes, Drainage Ditches, Swales, and Diversions
10.12 Erosion and Sediment Control in Maintenance
10.13 Recycling in Roadside Maintenance Operations
10.14 Preserving Air Quality in Maintenance and Operations
10.15 Painting Operation Stormwater BMPs
10.16 Road Waste Management
10.17 Stockpiling, Spoil Disposal or Placement of Inert Fill
10.18 Maintenance of Soils
10.19 Emergency Actions
10.20 Field Review of Roadside Maintenance Operations
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