Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful, in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), makes the Governor’s Community Achievement Award (GCAA) to the large Texas city with the best grassroots environmental programs in the state. The city receives a share of landscaping prize money for construction of a beautification project on selected state right-of-way, conforming both to the winning city’s aesthetic expectations and stringent standards of safety, design and maintenance laid out by TxDOT.
Keep Austin Beautiful won the Governor’s Community Achievement Award in 2013, and has announced that they will use the $310,000 prize to enhance the IH35/Rundberg interchange. They anticipate finalizing the design over the winter, and starting installation in spring 2016.
The preliminary design includes limestone facing for the columns, and plantings of texas mountain laurel, texas sotol, red yucca, and wildflowers in the median and islands. The landscape architect chose these plants for their low use of water, extreme drought resistance, heat tolerance, flowering seasons, and evergreen nature.
TxDOT also planted over 200 native and adapted trees at our IH35 and 183 interchanges in 2012 as part of their Green Ribbon air quality program.