|The Town of Blythewood partnered with TSW, a leading design and construction firm, to develop a detailed plan for landscaping improvements along Interstate 77 Landscaping. The plan was developed in conjunction with the Town of Blythewood Master Plan and aimed to convey to drivers along I-77 that they were passing through Blythewood, and to offer an enhanced experience for those exiting the highway. The design drew on the town’s equestrian heritage and high quality of life.
The landscaping improvements were located within the existing right-of-way and primarily included low maintenance groundcover and crape myrtles. At certain locations, including around the town’s exit sign, additional plantings were proposed. Running along the back of the plantings, a white fence paid homage to the horse farms to the west.
The design theme was expanded at the I-77 and Blythewood Road interchange. Plantings in the median were added to create a visual cue to drivers on the otherwise monotonous roadway. At the top of each ramp, opportunities were created for directional signage.
The interchange landscape design is the first part of a larger plan to enhance Blythewood Road with streetscape and redevelopment recommendations. These have the potential to transform the corridor into a pedestrian-oriented thoroughfare. The recommendations include street trees, wide sidewalks, safe pedestrian crossings, buried utilities, and walk-up retail buildings to the east and bio-swales and a multi-use path to the west to transition to more rural land.
In conclusion, TSW and the Town of Blythewood partnered to develop a landscaping improvement plan along I-77. The plan aimed to convey to drivers passing through Blythewood and offer an enhanced experience for those exiting the highway. The plan included roadside plantings and an extensive program at the interchange between I-77 and Blythewood Road. The design theme was expanded at the interchange to include the entire area. The landscaping improvements are the first step in a larger plan to enhance Blythewood Road with streetscape and redevelopment recommendations which have the potential to transform the corridor into a pedestrian-oriented thoroughfare.