(L-R): Elisabeth Mair Regional Manager ASFINAG and Greening expert Stefan Gieselberger, Source: ASFINAG on Facebook

Flowers: Austria's new take on highway barriers

Flowers: Austria's new take on highway barriers

The new road wall will be a home for birds and insects, while also lowering the temperature on the highway itself

Last week, ASFINAG, Austria’s road and highway maintenance service announced they will install a green noise protection wall along the A12 autobahn, between the city of Kufstein and the village of Kramsach. The wall will be 3.5 metres high and overflowing with different shades of green from the plant life explosion on it.

It is supposed to improve the quality of life for residents living by the highway and increase biodiversity, offering great living conditions for a wide variety of plants, insects and birds.

The green wall on the highway

The green wall will have a total length of 425 metres and a maximum height of 3.5 metres. Additionally, according to a statement by ASFINAG, it does not need a complex construction process based on a concrete foundation. Instead, it will be built on a simple gravel layer.  

As soon as the metal outer frame is placed, the structure will be filled with 1,300 cubic metres of free-flowing organic material containing seeds. Plants will start growing in the green wall as soon as the first autumn rains pour over the region.

According to expert estimates, the green wall saved 50% of the CO2 needed for the construction process. The green wall will also lower temperatures on the highway and providing it with shade and trapping fine dust particles. The organic plant material is composed of Virginia creeper, ivy and clematis.

Road authorities say that the crown of the wall will also have a variety of wildflowers, which will attract bees and other insects, as well as birds.

The project has a 60-year warranty, and, supposedly after three years, it will have completely overgrown to require very little to no maintenance including no watering.

The project included the removal of the previous noise wall on the highway, installed in 1983. Interestingly, it had a layer of trash functioning as sound insulation. However, the trash had seeped into the surrounding area and ASFINAG had to remove up to 4,000 cubic metres of waste, which ultimately made the project much more expensive.

The final price tag for the green wall is 2.1 million euros and the Austrian road maintenance company explained that it would serve as a pilot programme to test out whether the approach is scalable in the future.



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