Designs

LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY

By Spackman Mossop Michaels

  • LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY

    LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIF...

  • LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY

    LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIF...

  • LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY

    LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIF...

  • LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY

    LANDSCAPE REGENERATION AT GLENUGIE UPGRADE OF THE PACIF...

About the project

Spackman Mossop Michaels worked in close collaboration with SESL Australia to undertake the design and implementation of the landscape works associated with a 7km section of new and upgraded highway at Glenugie on the NSW north coast. Revegetation of highway projects is typically undertaken with planting out and seeding of large areas of disturbed land. This can be an expensive and sometimes not an entirely successful process. Therefore, as the Glenugie upgrade is located almost entirely within a dense native forest, the use of an unconventional and innovative revegetation technique was proposed. This approach adopted a natural process of regeneration harnessing the resources that are inherently existing in and adjacent to the road corridor.
Spackman Mossop Michaels worked in close collaboration with SESL Australia to undertake the design and implementation of the landscape works associated with a 7km section of new and upgraded highway at Glenugie on the NSW north coast.

Revegetation of highway projects is typically undertaken with planting out and seeding of large areas of disturbed land. This can be an expensive and sometimes not an entirely successful process. Therefore, as the Glenugie upgrade is located almost entirely within a dense native forest, the use of an unconventional and innovative revegetation technique was proposed. This approach adopted a natural process of regeneration harnessing the resources that are inherently existing in and adjacent to the road corridor.
The natural regeneration process developed for the Glenugie project was designed to mitigate environmental impacts on land disturbed by road construction works using an environmentally sustainable, time efficient and cost effective process. The approach aims to restore native ecosystems by recreating conditions conducive to the recruitment and successful establishment of indigenous trees, shrubs and groundcovers.

A critical component of the approach is the recovery and reuse of site materials including seed, soil and mulched material from the cleared vegetation. By carefully stripping and stockpiling site topsoils soils and mulched vegetation, we were able to reconstruct the natural soil profile to preserve not just the fertility and seedbank of the existing topsoil but the depth and formation of subsoils required to support the plant communities that are characteristic of the locality. The mulched site vegetation not only provided a valuable additional seed source but, by blending with the topsoil, an essential and highly effective erosion protection measure in all areas with exposed soil especially on steep batters.
Glenugie is rapidly becoming the exemplar project for RMS to be adopted in future projects where native forests adjoin the road corridor. It has been successful not only in the establishment of indigenous local provenance tree, shrub and groundcover species but also very successful in restricting the growth of weeds, maintaining soil stability and therefore protecting water quality in the adjoining watercourses. Not only did it cost less to construct than the traditional revegetation process but it has minimised the ongoing maintenance works and the associated costs. As a result, RMS has received no critical comments from agencies or the public on this project, only complements on the success of the site revegetation.

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