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ICC/MD 200 Contracts A & B

As landscape architects for Maryland’s Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 Contracts A and B, Floura Teeter worked with an interdisciplinary team of biologists, environmentalists, and engineers to produce a landscape design for this new toll highway designed to increase community mobility and safety in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

Receiving an Honor Award from the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MD ASLA), this project was cited by the jury as “a template, case study, and example of an ecologically sensitive road corridor that all should study and follow.”

Project Category:
Transportation
Location:
Montgomery County, MD
Client:
Maryland State Highway Administration
Architect/Engineer:
Contract A: Parsons/Jacobs; Contract B: Parsons
Contractor:
Contract A: Granite Construction; Contract B: Keiwit Construction

The final design meets the client’s objectives of providing:

Intensive manpower requirements: 10,000 hours for original design alone and 3 full-time staff members on site for more than a year

7+ miles of landscape design including 23 bridges

Stringent environmental measures including wildlife and wetland protection, reforestation and
stormwater management

Wildlife preservation measures for the ICC are among the most cutting-edge ever implemented. When the box turtle was discovered within the project’s limits, biologists used GPS technology to locate and track the turtles who were temporarily relocated, then returned at the project’s conclusion. Floura Teeter designed landscape plantings to attract wildlife to the culverts and introduced earthen escape ramps, assisting deer that venture into the roadway corridor so they can find a way out. To aid in protecting juvenile salamanders, a wildlife fence was placed on the right of way fence bordering the nearby forests. The design also featured a special drainage system that uses sand to cool runoff water before it reaches streams to further protect native wildlife.

Although engineers designed the highway with the minimum required cutting of adjacent forests, Floura Teeter was tasked with replacing the existing tree canopy as quickly as possible. Under the direction of its in-house forester, Floura Teeter ultimately reforested 74.2 acres on the project site using 270,000 plants larger than the typical size used on SHA projects to reach maturity faster.

Highway projects are typically not popular with surrounding communities, with residents citing concerns about noise and traffic debris. To respond to these concerns, Floura Teeter principal Joan Floura and other staff members were heavily involved in community outreach. In addition to holding open meetings and attending community gatherings to present information and answer questions, Floura Teeter staff went door-to-door to meet with individual homeowners and work with them to develop acceptable solutions. Ultimately, a mix of sound walls and trees were used to create a feeling that the neighborhoods were still connected despite the addition of the new highway.

In order to avoid endangered species in the area, it was necessary for engineers to run the new roadway directly through a local development, essentially dividing the neighborhood in half. To minimize disruption and ensure pedestrian safety, the design incorporated a tunnel that runs underneath the neighborhood. Floura Teeter designed a green space on top of the tunnel featuring turf and ornamental plantings to create a central park that helps preserve a sense of community for residents.

While Floura Teeter stands behind every project it completes, scope of work for the ICC specifically called for a two-year warranty period, during which time Floura Teeter was responsible for ongoing community outreach and maintenance including walking the entire project and replacing any dead material each planting season.

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