The State Highway Administration has begun a project to plant more than 55,000 trees in Howard, Frederick and Carroll counties, as part of a statewide Chesapeak Bay restoration initiative.
The trees will help reduce soil erosion into waterways leading to the Bay. They can also help filter out nutrients, such as nitrogen, that create oxygen-deficient "dead zones" in the Bay by encouraging surface algae growth that blocks sunlight from reaching underwater plant life.
The trees also absorb carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – from the atmosphere. According to SHA engineer David Coyne, every acres of trees absorbs carbon dioxide equal to the amount emitted by a car driven 26,000 miles.
In Howard County, SHA will plant more than 1,600 trees. The plantings will occur along highway interchanges and grassy areas, and will not disrupt driver visibility.
The project costs approximately $2.2 million and is scheduled for completion in fall 2014.
Howard County tree plantings will be at the following sites:
•Northbound MD 32 along ramp from Burntwoods Rd, Roundabout to Andrea Dr./Ivory Rd.
•US 40 Median between US 29 Ramps and Ridge Rd.
•US 29 at US 40 Interchange, SW Quadrant
•US 29 and US 40 Interchange, NE Quadrant
•Northbound US 29 from ramp to US 29 to US 40
•MD 32 at MD 108 Interchange, SE Quadrant
•Westbound MD 32 ramp to Great Star Rd.
•Westbound MD 32 - West side of Great Star Dr.
•MD 32 east of Great Star Dr.
•Eastbound MD 32 east of Great Star Dr.
•Westbound MD 32 west of Great Star Dr.
•Westbound MD 32 at MD 108