The Highway 22 road project will provide motorists with a brand new travel experience. The road isn't the only thing changing in that corridor.
Since April, crews have been tearing apart Highway 22, leading to the removal of the Victory Drive memorial trees to make way for the new roadway.
"We're actually replacing those trees with pollinators and field grasses, prairie grasses more smaller bushes, smaller trees that are more friendly to the butterflies and bees in the area and that are going to be a lot friendlier to the farmers as well," MnDOT District 7 Project Manager Robert Jones said.
The new flora and fauna won't only act as a memorial along the highway...they'll serve a greater purpose once in place.
"I think it's a sensitive issue to our ecosystem as one and also it's something to put back into, it's a beautification process instead of just having grasses out there which are beautiful too. Putting things like this along the corridor are really going to make it nice," Jones added.
This is just the beginning for MnDOT planting pollinators in right of ways for bees and butterflies.
"It's not a policy yet but an initiative we're looking at doing. Anywhere in our right of ways if we can work it, putting more prairie grasses or pollinators, things like that it would be nice to do. They're hard to maintain though. It takes 3-5 years to get them established to get them going. Sometimes the DNR says you have to burn off these prairie grasses, burn off these pollinators so they come back every season nicely. So sometimes the maintenance on them is a little more than we can handle with MnDOT. We don't have a private contractor going out there helping us maintain these," Jones said.
With the road construction planned for two years, the landscape architect project will not begin until late 2018, early 2019. 

--KEYC News 12