Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Empire Project: A Street-Level View

If you live or work in Burbank, no doubt you’re well aware of the freeway project (known as the Empire Project) now under construction in your fair city. For an overview of the project, you can check out this short video, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the improvements. But you may be wondering what it will look like at street level when all the work is done. What will you see when you’re driving by?

Caltrans has a team of talented landscape architects who work hard to ensure that a project’s aesthetics mesh with the surroundings. For example, they design special architectural treatments for retaining walls, such as this one at the Victory Place separation, looking northwest:

Note the mountain motif on this rendering of the Burbank Boulevard overcrossing, looking east:

And here’s a rendering of the project’s sound walls, covered in trumpet vine and Boston ivy:

The foliage not only looks better than plain ol’ masonry blocks — it also helps deter taggers.

For more information about the Empire Project, visit the I-5 website.