The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Apr. 21, 2024

Highway beautification project discussed

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

An interchange beautification project received some interest from local landscape designers during a meeting held Wednesday.

Van Wert County Business Outreach Coordinator Sarah Smith hosted a meeting with representatives of four area landscape companies over a project that calls for designing landscape improvements to the areas around the interchange at U.S. 224 and U.S. 30.

Representatives of area landscape design companies meet with ODOT officials and Van Wert County Business Outreach Coordinator Sarah Smith (left) to discuss a beautification project at the interchange of U.S. 224 and U.S. 30. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Representatives of area landscape design companies meet with ODOT officials and Van Wert County Business Outreach Coordinator Sarah Smith (left) to discuss a beautification project at the interchange of U.S. 224 and U.S. 30. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Also at the meeting were Rodney Nuveman, highway management administrator, and Tom Berning, program administrator for District 1 of the Ohio Department of Transportation, to provide information on ODOT’s Gateway Landscaping Program.

That program provides funding for the purchase of trees, shrubs, mulch, soil amendments, rocks and pavers and other landscaping materials for projects along Ohio highways. However, water-related items, such as fountains, and signage that could distract motorists driving along the highway, would not be allowed under the ODOT project.

Nuveman said ODOT would provide approximately $25,000 to purchase landscaping materials for the interchange project.

Landscaping company representatives, who included Clint Gable of Elite Naturescapes in Delphos, Sam Laurent of Laurent’s Landscaping in New Haven, Ind., Mark Mefferd of Buckeye Lawn Scape of Convoy and Mike Dues and Pat Frederick of Dues Nursery & Landscaping in Celina, all evinced interest in designing a portion of the project and discussed what each company’s responsibility would be, as well as a potential timeline for completion of the project.

With all four companies still busy with summer projects, it was decided that areas of the project would be assigned within the next 45-60 days, with planning then taking place over the winter. Site preparation would then begin in the spring, with planting taking place next fall.

Smith said she was a little disappointed that planting couldn’t begin sooner, but was pleased overall with the interest in the project.

She also noted that, while the landscaping design companies would design the project, she would work to find a way to maintain the area after it was planted.

“All I need you guys to do is make it look pretty,” Smith told the landscape designers.

A second meeting has been set for 8 a.m. Thursday, September 12, to further discuss details of the project.

POSTED: 08/29/13 at 6:54 am. FILED UNDER: News