Wisconsin’s Living Fence Plan Helps Keep Highways Snow Free
The best solutions to a problem are often those that come naturally. That's the idea behind the plan the Wisconsin Department of Transportation uses in helping to reduce snow drifting on the thousands of miles of roadway in the state.
The Living Fence plan is simple: In strategic areas along some stretches of highway, the state plants trees, shrubs, and native grasses to act as a deterrent to blowing and drifting snow. The living fence helps to limit the amount of snowplowing or man-made fencing needed. It's a plan that's been successfully in place since the 1930's.
According to information provided by WISDOT (from their Strategic Highway Research Program): "[I]t costs 100 times more to plow snow than to trap it with a snow fence. And once a living snow fence is established there is little maintenance." Add the fact that most of these stands of trees can live for more than 75 years and it's easy to see why the state utilizes the plan.